Pakistani doctor allowed to end U.S. appeal

Siddiqui wrote a letter to her lawyer saying she had no faith in the U.S. legal system and refused to participate in it

Pakistani doctor allowed to end U.S. appeal

World Bulletin/News Desk

A Pakistani neuroscientist was allowed on Thursday to withdraw what could be the last appeal of her conviction on U.S. charges of attempted murder.

U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan said that Aafia Siddiqui, who is serving an 86-year sentence in a prison medical center in Texas, had "clearly and unequivocally" stated her intent to end the appeal.

The judge ordered the case closed and said that, even if the appeal had continued, he likely would have ruled against Siddiqui. She was represented at trial by an able team of five lawyers, Berman wrote. He declined to hold a hearing to question Siddiqui further.

In May, a new lawyer filed the appeal on Siddiqui's behalf, but in July Siddiqui wrote a letter to Berman saying she had no faith in the U.S. legal system and refused to participate in it.

A jury convicted Siddiqui in 2010 of attempting to shoot and kill a group of FBI agents, U.S. soldiers and interpreters who were about to interrogate her in Ghazni, Afghanistan, for alleged links to al Qaeda.

None of them were wounded, but Siddiqui was shot in the abdomen when they returned fire.

Siddiqui likely would not be allowed to file another appeal except under extraordinary circumstances, such as newly discovered evidence, and might not understand the consequences of a withdrawal, the new lawyer, Robert Boyle, wrote in a letter to the judge last month.

Boyle did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday.

A 42-year-old mother of three, Siddiqui was educated in the United States and has degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brandeis University.

Several groups have called her case an example of the worst excesses of the U.S. war on terror, citing her family's claims that she was raped and tortured at the U.S. military's Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.

At trial, Siddiqui's legal team urged an acquittal because there was no evidence the rifle had been fired.

An appeals court in 2012 affirmed her conviction and sentence, rejecting arguments that her trial was unfair.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Ekim 2014, 23:14