Aafia Siddiqui Trial: Green Beret Weeps On Stand

Special Agent Eric Negron will resume his testimony on the sixth day of the high profile trial of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, in Southern District Court of New York today.

Proceedings resumed Monday with a testimony of a MIT employee who confirmed that she completed B.S in Biology in 1995.

Specialist Rene Card, a medic with the US Army testified that Dr. Siddiqui shot the M-4 rifle and bullets came towards her. She described in minute details the events of July 18th, 2008, however, she did not recall her two earlier statements to FBI immediately following the incident.

On July 23rd 2008, Specialist Card had said that Chief Warrant Officer was very agitated on the day of the incident and that she was coached by her direct supervisor to modify her statement.

She had said that Sgt. Baker, her immediate supervisor told her: “if it is revealed that it was Snyder’s gun he will be fried but nothing will happen to Chief Warrant Officer.”

Observers believe the Government appointed defense attorney Dawn Cardi did not explore the holes in Specialist Card’s testimony adequately.

An emotional testimony of Chief Warrant officer who sobbed as he described an unrelated attack in which he was injured, was very moving. All the jurors sat on the edges of their chair and two members of jury were visibly upset – with their faces completely red.

Judge Richard Berman asked the prosecutor to clarify that the incident where Chief Warrant officer was injured had nothing to do with Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s trial but defense argues that it has prejudiced jurors against her.

Chief Warrant Officer testified today that he peeked behind the curtain and saw nothing except for a small messy room and possibly a bed.

Chief Warrant Officer and his interpretator Ahmad Gul had identical testimonies in past five days. Everyone else had a different recollection.

But, testimony of Ahmad Gul an Afghan national who came to the US on government paid expenses in October of 2008 and expeditiously received his green card was very much aligned with the testimony of Chief Warrant Officer.

Chief Warrant Officer testified that he saw a number of items allegedly recovered from Dr. Siddiqui by the Afghan National Police including a number of handwritten and pre-printed documents, and various chemicals. He believed that the detainee was an American citizen and he contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation to assist in interviewing and identifying the individual whom the ANP had detained.

Chief Warrant Officer testified that the following day, a team of United States military personnel and FBI agents traveled to the ANP Compound where Dr. Siddiqui was held, in order to interview and identify her.

He said when he arrived on the second floor room he was surprised to see Captain Snyder already present. He said he peeked behind the curtain and ‘sat down’ his M4 on the floor.

He testified that Dr. Siddiqui grabbed his M-4 rifle, and attempted to fire at him. To eliminate ‘threat’ he shot her in the abdomen.

He testified that during and immediately after this shooting, the Dr. Siddiqui repeatedly screamed anti-American statements, including her desire to kill Americans.

Chief Warrant Officer testified that his team later brought Dr. Siddiqui to a military base in Ghazni, where her wounds were treated. The same day, two FBI agents took her to another military base in Bagram for medical treatment.

During cross examination when defense attorney Charles Swift asked him why his testimony today differs from his operational review (aka W5) filed the same day of the incident, sworn statement 4 days later and several statements to FBI, Chief Warrant Officer did not have a satisfactory response.

In his earlier statements he had said he saw Dr. Siddiqui lung towards his rifle and he decided to let her take the rifle and shot with his pistol instead. But on Monday he told defense attorney: “I must have wrote it incorrectly.”

Today he testified that Dr. Siddiqui fired as he did, pretty much simultaneously.

Issue here is: can Dr. Siddiqiui pick up M4 rifle and fire with the same speed that Green Beret with fifteen years experience fires his pistol. Chief Warrant Officer told defense attorney: “as I look back it was certainly amazing she got it up that fast.”

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