NEW YORK: A US appeals court on Monday upheld the conviction and 86-year prison sentence of Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui for shooting at FBI agents and soldiers after her arrest in Afghanistan.
The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said a lower court judge had not erred in allowing Siddiqui, 40, to testify in her own defense at trial and in allowing certain evidence against her.
Siddiqui, whose conviction was widely criticized in Pakistan, was sentenced by US District Judge Richard Berman in September 2010. She was convicted by a New York federal jury of attempted murder, armed assault and other charges.
She was arrested in July 2008 by Afghan police, who said she was carrying two pounds (900 grams) of sodium cyanide and crumpled notes referring to mass casualty attacks and New York landmarks.
The day after her arrest, she grabbed an M-4 rifle in her interrogation room and started shooting while yelling “death to America,” the trial jury heard.
No US agents or soldiers were hit, but Siddiqui was shot and wounded in response, according to US prosecutors.
Siddiqui’s defense lawyers, three of whom were paid by the Pakistani government, argued that their client had shot at the US officials in a panic and said the crime lacked any connection to terrorism. (Continue Reading.)
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Aafia Siddiqui Loses Appeal on 86-Year Prison Sentence
Yet to this day, if you go to a Muslim parade or rally, you're likely to see posters, banners, or literature demanding Siddiqui's release.