US judge orders physical, mental examination of Dr Aafia to ensure she is fit for trial

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New York, Oct 2 : A US district judge has reportedly ordered that the Pakistani woman terror suspect, Dr Aafia Siddiqui shall undergo a month-long "medical assessment, treatment and psychological examination" to determine if she was "medically fit and competent" to stand the trial she was facing for allegedly attempting to kill US security men during interrogation after being apprehended in Afghanistan in July.

The US-trained neuroscientist, Dr Aafia was shot in the abdomen by an officer after allegedly grabbing a US soldier's gun during questioning in July. She was subsequently brought to the US to face charges of attempted murder and assault.

Her trial has been delayed after she refused to submit to a strip search and prosecutors argued the now frail-looking Siddiqui, who has also refused to cooperate with prison doctors, is suffering from a mental disease and is unfit to stand trial.

The federal indictment says Dr Aafia, while detained for questioning in Afghanistan, grabbed a US warrant officer's rifle and fired it at the interrogation team, which included two FBI agents in the room. The warrant officer then shot her with his pistol.

Her lawyers say she may be a victim of torture and believe that she was kidnapped with her children in March 2003 in Karachi, and secretly held in custody for the past five years by either Pakistani or US authorities.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for December 17 in the Manhattan federal court.

ANI

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