NEW YORK, Sept 3: Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui was indicted on Tuesday afternoon by Michael J. Garcia, the US Attorney for the southern district of New York, on charges related to her attempted murder and assault of US nationals and officers and employees.
Ms Siddiqui is scheduled to be formally charged on Thursday by District Judge Richard M. Berman. She is being held without bail in a New York prison.
The 36-year-old Pakistani resided in the United States from 1991 till June 2002, and obtained degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brandeis University. She returned to the United States on December 25, 2002, and departed on January 2, 2003, the indictment said.
Ms Siddiqui is charged in the Indictment with (1) one count of attempting to kill US nationals outside the United States; (2) one count of attempting to kill US officers and employees; (3) one count of armed assault of US officers and employees; (4) one count of using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence; and (5) three counts of assault of US officers and employees.
If convicted Ms Siddiqui faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each of the attempted murder and armed assault charges, life in prison on the firearm charge and eight years in prison on each of the remaining assault charges.
Ms Siddiqui’s attorney Dan Oliver told Dawn that her defence team would plead not guilty to the charges.
Ms Elizabeth Fink, the lead attorney, told reporters on Monday that Ms Siddiqui remained in need of medical attention. “She needs further tests. She needs treatment. She needs care. She needs human rights. She needs to be treated in a humane fashion based on what everybody concedes happened to her. And they’re not doing it.”
But the prosecutors have said that Ms Siddiqui received medical treatment, and a federal magistrate judge ordered her to be seen by a doctor last month.