Aafias defence-appointed doctor to appear before US judge


A medical specialist, detailed by Aafia Siddiqui’s defence lawyer, Dawn Cardi, will appear before a US judge on Wednesday to place before him her findings about the state of health of the Pakistani neuroscientist, who faces terrorism charges, according to informed sources.
Dr. Camille Kempke will submit her written deposition behind closed doors to Judge Richard Berman in the presence of the prosecutors. A specialist, appointed by the prosection, Dr. L. Powers, made her deposition to the judge on June 26.
Ms. Siddiqui, who is charged with an alleged attempt to kill American soldiers and F.B.I. agents in Afghanistan, was sent back to New York on July 17 from a medical facility in Texas where she underwent a complete psychological evaluation.
She was shifted to Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas, on the orders of Judge Berman after her defence lawyers pleaded that she was unfit to stand trial as a result of the trauma she suffered after her arrest in Afghanistan in late July last year.
In November, defence lawyers insisted that Ms Siddiqui was not in a state of mind to stand trial. But in March this year, US prosecutors claimed that two independent, government psychiatrists had determined that Ms Siddiqui was malingering or faking her symptoms of mental illness.
The judge has tentatively scheduled a hearing for July 6 to determine her competency to stand trial, which is expected to take place in October.
Meanwhile, a senior Pakistani diplomat in Washington, is keeping a close watch on the developments in the case. Fakir Asif Hussain said the embassy has been in constant contact with Ms Siddiqui and making efforts for protection of her legal rights.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2009

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