Judge Richard Berman of Southern District of New York Tuesday denied the government’s request to bar Dr. Aafia Siddiqui from court room on the grounds that so far hearing has been conducted “transparently, fairly and efficiently,”
Government had requested that Dr. Siddiqui should be prohibited from the courtroom claiming that her ‘outbursts’ have been “opportunistic and interjected testimony.”
Declining the request Judge Berman noted that Dr. Siddiqui has ‘dream team’ of skilful attorneys who are being paid $2 million by the Pakistani government.
“Dr. Siddiqui has the right to confront her accusers, confer with her counselors and testify under oath,” Judge Berman said. He was of the opinion that at times Dr. Siddiqui has abused those rights but “at times she has fully utilized them.”
Upon hearing the discussion Dr. Siddiqui who present in the court room with a tearful quivering voice said: “I respectfully say you are in everything you.”
At the end of the morning session there was a discussion on whether or not Dr. Siddiqui would testify. The defense has submitted a motion requesting that she not be allowed to testify due to her mental state.
Trial began Tuesday morning with continuation of Special Agent Negron’s testimony and cross examination by defense attorney Lina Merono.
Dr. Aafia Siddiqui did not want to attend hearings to avoid strip search but Judge Berman has ordered her to come to the court whether she sits in the courtroom or in a small room with closed circuit TV.