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Bin Laden’s Son-In-Law Keeps Convicted Felon Attorney For Sentencing Phase

Courtroom sketch of defense attorney Stanley Cohen and Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, testifying at his own terrorism trial in Manhattan federal court, March 19, 2014. (credit: Court art/ Jane Rosenberg)

Courtroom sketch of defense attorney Stanley Cohen and Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, testifying at his own terrorism trial in Manhattan federal court, March 19, 2014. (credit: Court art/ Jane Rosenberg)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A convicted terrorist has chosen to keep his lawyer, now a convicted felon, as lead attorney on his case.

Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law says he’ll be represented at sentencing this summer by the same New York lawyer who handled his case at trial despite the lawyer’s recent guilty pleas to tax charges.

Manhattan federal Judge Lewis Kaplan repeatedly told Sulaiman Abu Ghaith Thursday that he should consult another attorney before deciding whether to let Stanley Cohen continue representing him. But Abu Ghaith insisted Cohen can stay on the case despite potential conflicts of interest.

Kaplan warned the now convicted terrorist that there is an increased potential for Stanley Cohen to have a conflict of interest to do things that could harm Abu Ghaith in order to protect his own interest at sentencing.

Cohen’s being prosecuted by the same U.S. Attorney’s office that prosecuted Abu Ghaith.

Abu Ghaith was convicted in March of conspiring to kill Americans for his role as al Qaeda’s spokesman after the Sept. 11 attacks. He awaits sentencing.

Last month, Cohen pleaded guilty in Syracuse federal court to impeding the IRS. He pleaded guilty Thursday in Manhattan federal court to two related misdemeanor charges.

Abu Ghaith could face life in prison when he’s sentenced in September.

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