NEW YORK, Sept 24: Judge Richard M. Berman entered on Tuesday not guilty plea on behalf of Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui as she again refused to come to the court.

At the Manhattan court hearing Judge Berman said he would order a “full medical and physical” evaluation of Ms Siddiqui next week whether or not she was competent to stand trial.

The judge also set Dec 17 as the next hearing date and set a tentative trial date for March 9, 2009.

Ms Siddiqui’s lawyer, Elizabeth M. Fink, has also written to the judge about her client’s mental state, citing what she called “the urgent need to treat her in a hospital setting”.—Correspondent

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