Gross miscarriage of justice: Aafia Siddiqui Innocent victim of prejudice

By: RupeeNews

Aafia Siddiqui has been a victim from that fateful moment when she was kidnapped, and sent to Afghanistan–where she was brutally tortured. Her family also faced horrendous pain. A prejudiced jury has now pronounced her guilt–guilty of a crime of shooting at a marine–when there were no bullet holes, and no fingerpring on the gun–the frail MIT graduate has been pronounced guilty of attacking several armed males, somehow snatching their gun and then shooting at them–when she had no clue about guns.

Hopefully she will will the case on appeal.

NEW YORK: Aafia Siddiqui, the Pakistani neuroscientist, was found guilty of attempted murder charges on all seven counts listed in the complaint against her. She was tried on charges of trying to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan on July 28, 2008.

However, the jury did not find her guilty on any pre-meditated murder charge. According to her lawyer, Ms Siddiqui could be given a sentence of up to 35 years.

After the jury left the room Aafia Siddiqui, who was inside, shouted: “I know this is not the verdict of American people, I know where it is coming from.”

Elaine Sharp, a defence attorney, came out of the court room to tell reporters that Ms Siddiqui had asked her to request the people of Pakistan to remain calm and that she has faith in the Almighty.

Charles Swift, the lead defence attorney, said after the verdict that “I have faith in American justice system. We will appeal the verdict. I completely disagree with the verdict given”.

Sentencing will be carried out on May 6, Mr Swift said. According to an attorney familiar with the case, Ms Siddiqui’s own testimony against the advice of her attorney’s could have contributed to her conviction.

AFP adds: The trial has drawn widespread attention because it is the most advanced in a string of current cases being handled by US prosecutors in what is frequently referred to as the “war on terror”. Several other suspects in alleged bomb plots are working their way through the system.

Before adjourning Tuesday afternoon, the jury went over the testimonies of Ms. Siddiqui, Captain Robert Snyder of US Army, who accused her of picking an unsecured gun and firing two shots; FBI Special Agent Gordon Hurley, who was first to inspect the crime scene; and two Afghan police officers — Abdul Qadeer and Bashir.
The jurors also examined the M-4 rifle that Ms. Siddiqui is alleged to have brandished at US personnel.

Before the jury went into deliberation on Monday, Defence lawyer Charles Swift said the group must consider facts as against fear, which the prosecution sought to create by portraying Ms. Siddiqui, a frail woman, as some sort of a commando threatening the US.
He said there was no physical evidence that the M-4 rifle had ever been fired, since no bullets, shell casings or bullet fragments were recovered and no high-velocity bullet holes detected.

Also, there was no evidence that the M-4 was ever fired. No gunpowder residue was found on fabrics or clothing, he added.
Human rights groups had declared Ms Siddiqui missing for five years before the incident in July, when she was arrested outside the Governor’s office in Ghazni.

Her lawyers have said she may be a victim of torture and believe she was kidnapped with her children in March 2003 in Karachi and secretly held in custody for the past five years reportedly at Bagram air base near Kabul.

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