US court rejects Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s appeal

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012 11:12:43 by

A US court rejected the appeal of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, who was accused of trying to kill US troops and FBI agents in Afghanistan four years ago, say media reports.


Siddiqui, who trained as a scientist in the United States, was sentenced to 86 years in prison after she was convicted of grabbing a US soldier’s M-4 assault rifle and trying to shoot a group of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents and soldiers at an Afghan police compound in July 2008.


According to the reports, the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York observed a lower court judge had not erred in allowing Siddiqui to testify in her own defense at trial and in allowing certain evidence against her.


She was sentenced by US District Judge Richard Berman in September 2010 after she was convicted by a New York federal jury of attempted murder, armed assault and other charges.


She was arrested in July 2008 by Afghan police, who said she was carrying two pounds (900 grams) of sodium cyanide and crumpled notes referring to mass casualty attacks and New York landmarks.


The day after her arrest, she grabbed an M-4 rifle in her interrogation room and started shooting while yelling death to America, the trial jury heard.


According to U.S. prosecutors, no US agents or soldiers were hit but Siddiqui was shot and wounded in response.


Councils for her defense, three of whom were paid by the Pakistani government, argued that their client had shot at the US officials in a panic, saying the crime lacked any connection to terrorism.


On appeal, her attorneys challenged her conviction and sentence on many grounds. They said the judge improperly allowed jurors to consider the crumpled notes, and that the judge should never have allowed Siddiqui to decide whether to take the stand.


Some reports claim that former President Pervez Musharraf handed over Aafia Siddiqui and her children to US in voracity of dollars while her sister had no links with the banned organization.

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