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Posted: 5/14/2002 10:23:56 AM EDT
'Sammy the Bull' fires indicted lawyer
Associated Press
May 14, 2002 10:30:00

NEW YORK - A Manhattan defense attorney indicted in a terror conspiracy has lost a notorious client: mob killer Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano.

Gravano told a federal judge in Brooklyn on Tuesday that he was replacing Lynne Stewart because her own legal troubles create a potential conflict of interest.

"I think the world of Lynne," Gravano said. "She was very good to me. At this time, I understand that it may be unappropriate for her to represent me."

Government prosecutors had argued that Stewart should be barred from the case to protect Gravano's interests. Stewart, 62, was indicted last month in an alleged conspiracy to relay messages from another imprisoned client, blind cleric Omar Abdel-Rahman, to his radical followers. She has pleaded innocent.

Gravano, 57, is awaiting sentencing for his role in a multimillion-dollar Ecstasy ring. The former underboss of the Gambino organized crime family confessed to killing 19 people but received leniency for testifying against mob boss John Gotti.

Defense attorney Anthony Ricco was named Gravano's new lawyer.

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