FBI ballistics expert, Carlo Rosati, who testified on the fourth day of the high profile trial of Dr. Aafia Siddqui conceded that he cannot say with certainty that any shots were fired from the M4 rifle.
Aafia Siddiqui is accused of snatching an M-4 Army rifle and firing two rounds at a team of Americans who tried to question her in Afghanistan on July 18, 2008.
Rosati’s testimony included descriptions of his observations and his knowledge of firearms, bullet trajectories, and crime scene analyses.
The Prosecution tried to establish Rosati as an expert based on his vast personal experience in his fields, particularly the behavior of bullets when fired in various circumstances and the need to preserve crime scenes for proper analysis and testing.
Rosati testified that the firearms he examined in this case — the 9-mm pistol that the Chief Warrant Officer used to shoot the defendant and the M-4 rifle that the defendant allegedly used to attempt to kill U.S. officers — were operable and functioning at the time of testing.
Rosati also testified that the M-4 rifle was capable of delivering fully automatic fire and therefore qualified as a “machine gun.”
He said that based on his examination, one 9-mm bullet and two 9-mm cartridge cases recovered at the crime scene were fired from the Chief Warrant Officer’s 9-mm pistol.
Rosati testified that he examined a curtain obtained from the crime scene for the presence of gunshot residue, but none was found.
He then testified regarding various scenarios that can occur when a bullet fired from an M-4 rifle strikes a solid surface. He said that bullets from an M-4 rifle travels at a very high rate of speed, and can explode or fragment upon impacting hard surfaces, or can penetrate other surfaces.
Based on the texture and content of the debris that he examined in this case, he testified that a bullet fired from an M-4 rifle into a wall comprised of this material might shatter or fragment.
However, upon cross examination he conceded key element of the bullet – a steel tip that penetrates the target never fragments and should have remained intact.
At the conclusion of todays hearing, a spokesperson for Aafia Siddiqui’s family, Tina Foster commented, “we were reminded again today that the evidence shows that only one shooting is definitive—that is the shooting of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. Today’s testimony again confirmed that the only bullets and casings found at the scene of the crime were from the handgun used by the Chief Warrant Officer.”
During cross examination Defense Attorney Charles Swift asked the FBI expert if he was certain that the one 9-mm bullet and two 9-mm cartridge cases recovered at the crime scene were fired from the Chief Warrant Officer’s 9-mm pistol. FBI expert Rosati categorically said, “Yes”.
When asked if he is certain an M-4 was ever shot at the crime scene, the FBI expert responded in negative.
The FBI expert also agreed that there was no evidence that Dr. Aafia Siddiqui fired an M4 rifle. He agreed that if a bullet fired from M4 rifle penetrated the wall, as alleged by the government, it would have been found. He said he had examined the debris of the wall and did not find any evidence that would lead him to believe that a bullet penetrated the wall.
Rosati also agreed with the defense attorney that no gun shot residue was found on the curtain, which was allegedly within six inches of the M4 when it was fired.
Defense attorney Charles Swift who previously worked for the U.S. Navy in the area of criminal defense, retained his reputation as a premier trial attorney. He was quick in demonstrating holes in the narrative of the FBI expert.
Dr. Aafia Siddiqui was again escorted out of the courtroom after saying, “I can bring peace with Afghanistan in one day.”
Aafia Siddiqui spoke during the break when jurors were out of the room and said, “I want to testify, but they have taken my right to testify”. Addressing people who come to support her, she said “there is no use for revenge and forgiveness is necessary”.
She sat up leaning back on the chair with her head facing upwards staring at the eagle on the ceiling. When she entered the room Friday morning she greeted her brother who was seated four benches behind her.