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Bomb plot witness freed after refusing testimony

NEW YORK, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- A New York judge, fed up with the antics of a self-proclaimed anarchist jailed for refusing to testify about a bomb plot, has set the man free.

An exasperated federal Judge John Keenan wrote in a 20-page decision he was releasing Gerald Koch, 24, a college student and self-proclaimed anarchist who refused to answer two FBI subpoenas to testify about a 2008 Times Square military recruiting center bombing.

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Prosecutors have said Koch was in a bar when the group that carried out the plot discussed their plans.

There were no serious injuries after the bombing.

Saying he believed federal prosecutors were on a "fishing expedition," Koch refused to answer any questions. In May, Keenan held Koch in contempt of court and ordered him jailed until he was willing to answer questions, the New York Post reported Wednesday.

A stubborn Koch seems to have won the stalemate, with Keenan admitting keeping Koch behind bars has only served to underwrite Koch's vision of himself as a "martyr."

"The court finds it more likely that [Gerald] Koch will only derive increasing grim self-satisfaction from his position," Keenan wrote. "The more unstable he gets, the more he will be presented as a martyr and perceive himself as such. Koch has already decided that this type of notoriety is more valuable than his health and freedom in the short run.

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"The court sees no indication that Koch's doctrinaire fever will break in the foreseeable future," the judge added. "Consequently, there is no realistic possibility that he will choose to testify before the grand jury."

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