A New York jury has found civil rights lawyer Lynn Stewart guilty of smuggling messages from her imprisoned client Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman to his followers. 

Prosecutors said Stewart crossed the line between advocacy and helping her client. The jury agreed, convicting Stewart of providing and concealing material support to terrorists, conspiracy and  making false statements after 13 days of deliberation.

Sheik Rahman, who is blind, was found guilty in 1995 of conspiring to blow up New York City landmarks and assassinate Egypt's president Hosni Mubarak. He is serving a life sentence. Stewart maintained that he is a blind man who poses no threat. After the verdict a tearful Stewart promised to fight the verdict.

"I hope it will be a wakeup call to all the citizens of this country, all the people that live here, that you cannot lock up the lawyers, you cannot tell the lawyers how to do the job," said Ms Stewart.  "You have got to let them operate. And I will fight on. I am not giving up. I know I committed no crime. I know what I did was right."

Stewart, who is known for defending radical causes and clients, faces up to 20 years in prison. She will remain free on bail until sentencing in mid-July.