Wednesday, February 3, 2010

First Reactions Upon Verdict


Pakistan embassy dismayed at NY Court verdict on Aafia
Feb 3 (APP) Washington: Pakistani embassy in Washington Wednesday expressed dismay at the unexpected verdict of a New York Court, which delcared Dr Aafia Siddiqui guilty in an attempted attack on American personnel while in custody in Afghanistan.“We are dismayed over the unexpected verdict of the jury in Dr. Aafia Siddiqui case in NY District Court,” an embassy spokesman said.“The Government of Pakistan made intense diplomatic and legal efforts on her behalf and will consult the family of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and the team of defense Lawyers to determine the future course of action,” the spokesman stated.

The Government will do all that is needed to provide justice to her as a Pakistani citizen, the spokesman added.
There should be no violence. Rather, there should not even be the thought of violence. The way to avoid violent thoughts is to understand where we stand and to focus on the moral victories we have won recently. We are far from perfect, like everyone else. But like other decent nations, we too have set some golden precedents for the 21st Century: just last year the people of Pakistan won a heroic struggle for the restoration of judiciary. We may have made mistakes in the past but this is a new century and we seem to have arrived here before many others. Let's keep peace for the sake of living up to our better traditions, and leaving behind our worst.

We can also hope that the case has not been closed. Appeal can be made, and perhaps our own government can spring into action to use better diplomatic skills. Also remains, still unsolved, the question about two of the children of Aafia, who were said to have been abducted with her.

Khurram Ali Shafique Sahib Winner of Pakistan's every third year competition for best Allama Iqbal Biography - find more at his website: Republic of Rumi dot com

Defense attorney Elaine Sharp said that Siddiqui wanted to send a message to her defenders in Pakistan not to respond to the guilty verdict with violence. "She expressed to me adamantly that she does not want any violence, any violent protest, or any violent reprisal. That is not what she's about," she said. (as found in VOA)

Another version by Masood Haider at Dawn dot com:

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.


Wednesday, 03 February 2010 14:41

February 3, 2010, New York, NY – The International Justice Network (IJNetwork) represents the family of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui in the United States. Attorneys from IJNetwork have been monitoring her trial, which began on January 19, and ended with a guilty verdict today in U.S. Federal Court in the Southern District of New York.

"Today marks the close of another sad chapter in the life of our sister, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. Today she was unjustly found guilty. Though she was not charged with any terrorism-related offense, Judge Berman permitted the prosecution's witnesses to characterize our sister as a terrorist -- which, based on copious evidence, she clearly is not. Today's verdict is one of many legal errors that allowed the prosecution to build a case against our sister based on hate, rather than fact. We believe that as a result, she was denied a fair trial, and today's verdict must be overturned on appeal." Find the original posting at freeaafia dot org
Fauzia Siddiqui, her sister, told Al Jazeera the verdict had "rejuvenated" the family. As reported on English Aljazeera here
US jury finds Dr Aafia guilty... The Daily Times dot com dot pk

NEW YORK: A US jury on Wednesday found Pakistani neuroscientist Dr Aafia Siddiqui guilty of two counts of attempted murder, though the crime was not found by the jury to be premeditated. She was also convicted of armed assault, using and carrying a firearm and assault of US officers and employees. A 12-member jury deliberated three days in a Manhattan federal court before unanimously declaring her guilty as charged.

Although she was not charged with terrorism, prosecutors described Aafia as a would-be terrorist who had also plotted to bomb New York.

In her closing arguments, defence attorney Linda Moreno accused the prosecutors of trying to play on the jury’s fears. “They want to scare you into convicting Aafia Siddiqui,” she said...

...Tina Monshipour, an attorney for Aafia’s family, said after the verdict was announced: “This verdict is being subject to an appeal. There were a lot of unfair decisions. She was portrayed as a terrorist even if there were no terrorism charges in this trial. This is one of those cases in which we see prejudice and bias invade the courtroom.”In addition, a statement from the Pakistan embassy in Washington read, “We are dismayed over the unexpected verdict of the jury in Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s case.”
End of Wikipedia coverage (which leaves out the day of Aafia's testimony on her own behalf many consider the highlight of the trial) yet has a helpful ending:

FIND original and many references here

The trial took an unusual turn with an FBI official asserting that the finger prints taken from the rifle, which was purportedly used by Aafia to shoot at the U.S. interrogators, did not match hers. Another event complicated the case further, when a witness', Masood Haider Gul, testimony appeared different from the one given by U.S. Captain Schnieder earlier. The defence has denied all charges and have earlier said; "The soldiers had given different versions of where she was when the M-4 was allegedly fired and how many shots were fired."

The trial lasted for 2 weeks and the jury deliberated for 2 days before reaching a verdict. On February 3, 2010, she was convicted and faces up to 60 years in prison for attempted murder and armed assault.
Jury finds Aafia guilty

Masood Haider Dawn dot com

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.
Interesting report which compels comment on what looks like a pro-all prosecutions/ US right or wrong -Wall Street advertising site with silly "blawgs" linked. The name also begs a sardonic smile -LAW FUEL- given so much of our war on terror is due to FUEL Greed:


Note how this above report, possibly given perks by some US gov't office as an alternative to anything obviously official is making a great deal about something that was not the focus of the charge and for which there is NO proof at all that this was not a plant, set-up and/or that Aafia was asked to write or copy the handwritten part of the bag's objects under torture or threat. According to Aafia's own testimony, at one point a threat to rape and/or kill her own daughter was used to coerce a desired behavior.

Note also the office which handled this long-awaited case with so much at stake:

"This case is being handled by the Office's Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys CHRISTOPHER L. LAVIGNE, DAVID M. RODY, and JENNA M. DABBS are in charge of the prosecution.
10-039 ###"


Fiza said...

good summary of all reactions! I am doing my thesis on a discourse analysis of blogs written about Dr. Afia and another case that came up in Pakistan. Your blog is SO HELPFUL!

Connie L. Nash said...

Thanx so much for letting me know these items helped you. Best of luck on your thesis. I would love to see anything which may be public and to get back in touch on this topic as this case and the people hurt by the same are still at top of my concerns.