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Aafia didn’t shoot at US agents, no fingerprints on gun: Defence lawyer PDF Print E-mail
NEW YORK, Jan 12 (APP) “A lawyer for Aafia Siddiqui, the Pakistani neuroscientist accused of shooting at FBI agents in Afghanistan, told a pre-trial hearing on Monday that the defence team rejected the charge since there were no fingerprints or other forensic evidence that she even picked up the gun. “We’re not saying she did it in self-defence. We’re not saying it was an accident. We’re saying she simply did not do it,” Defence attorney Linda Moreno told U.S. District Judge Richard Berman ahead of Ms.  Siddiqui’s trial on January 19.
At a previous pre-trial hearing, Ms. Siddiqui, 37, had also forcefully denied the charge. “I didn’t fire any bullets,” she had told the court. “I am innocent of all the charges and I can prove it, but I will not do it in this court.”
Meanwhile, Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher La Vigne Christopher Levine made it clear that the government will not argue that Ms. Siddiqui was a member of Al-Qaeda, Taliban or any other terrorist organization.    
Lawyer Moreno argued that a jury, which will be selected on Wednesday, should only consider whether Ms. Siddiqui fired a weapon not her motive.
Under questioning from the judge, the lawyer indicated that the defence would question the credibility of the eye-witnesses that the prosecution will call to testify in support of the charge.
Since the very beginning, Ms. Siddiqui has said that she has no confidence in the American judicial system or the lawyers appointed for her by the court—even those retained by the government of Pakistan—and that she wants to make peace and knows how to do it.
“They are not my attorneys,” Ms. Siddiqui said moments after being escorted into a Manhattan courtroom Monday. “I have fired them many times.” She later said: “There’s too many injustices in this court.” Ms. Siddiqui is accused of grabbing a U.S. Army officer’s rifle during an interrogation in Afghanistan in July 2008 and exchanging gunfire with U.S. soldiers and FBI agents.
No American was hit, but she survived a gunshot wound to the stomach and was brought to the United States in August to face federal charges of attempted murder and assault.
On Monday, defence attorneys asked judge Berman to bar testimony and evidence from Siddiqui’s capture in Afghanistan the day before the shooting.
Prosecutors allege she was carrying a list naming the Stature of Liberty and other New York landmarks, and notes about chemical and biological weapons.
La Vigne, the government attorney, told the judge that the material found on Siddiqui should be allowed as evidence to “provide context to these events.” The judge said he would rule Wednesday morning before jury selection begins.
 

     

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