As the jury meets again to decide the fate of Dr. Alafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani woman, charged with attempted murder of U.S Citizens, two jurors, a male and female, came out of the deliberation room to request a chance to look at the M4 rifle that Siddiqui is charged with firing and the 9 mm pistol with which she was shot by U.S. soldiers.
The male juror seemed to be showing the female juror how easy it might be to release the safety mechanism and fire, showing an apparent familiarity with rifles. It is reported that there is an active debate underway as the jury enters its second day of deliberations.
For the jury to reach a verdict the decision must be unanimous by all 12 jurors composed of 8 women and 4 men. There will be intense pressure on those in the minority to be swayed to the opinion of the majority.
Two state department officials are in the courtroom today to observe the verdict. This is the first time that the state department has come to the court to observe a trial of a Pakistani. This reflects the importance of the case to Pak-U.S. relations.
Despite promises of good news from Interior Minister Rehman Malik in the case of Dr. Siddiqui, the prosecution has left no stone unturned to ensure that she is convicted. In their closing remarks they described her as a terrorist who knows how to “lie” to manipulate the jury. They availed of every opportunity to refer to the documents allegedly found in her possession indicating her “intent” to “kill Americans”. They also indicted the Afghan National Police accusing them of hiding the evidence to explain the lack of any forensic evidence found in the room where the shooting is alleged to have occurred.
If she is found guilty, many legal experts say that her only chance for justice is for the Pakistani Government to disclose once and for all any information they have on her possible abduction and transfer to the custody of American intelligence officials. Meanwhile, the whereabouts of the two missing children remain unknown.