Jailed sheik sabotaged his own health

July 1, 2004 at 1:02 PM
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NEW YORK, July 1 (UPI) -- A court in New York has been told an Egyptian sheik imprisoned for life for terrorism sabotaged his own health, the New York Times reported.

The testimony came from federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who led the case against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman in 1995.

He said prison cameras captured on videotape an episode in which Abdel Rahman banged his leg on his cell bed to worsen a minor injury. The sheik, who is elderly and blind, also stopped taking insulin for his diabetes and began eating M&M candies, Fitzgerald said.

On the witness stand, Fitzgerald recounted his concern the sheik "was going to play with his medical condition because he knew we in the government would get blamed if something happened."

He was testifying at the trial of Lynne Stewart, an attorney who originally represented Abdel Rahman and is now accused of aiding terrorism.

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