Aafia Siddiqui raises her hand to tell Judge Richard Berman “You’re a liar!” at Federal Court in Manhattan.
She’s not just out of control – she’s out of her mind.
Or so lawyers for the so-called “Lady al Qaeda” claimed Tuesday as asked a judge to bar their client from taking the stand in her own defense.
Lawyers for MIT-trained scientist Aafia Siddiqui say her request to testify “is driven by her severe mental illness and would turn the trial into a spectacle.”
The bid to muzzle Siddiqui – charged with attempted murder for opening fire on Americans in Afghanistan – is a longshot since she’s already been found competent.
The lawyer fear more of the same under oath.
“Should Dr. Siddiqui continue her irrational and bewildering insistence that she has the power to influence the Taliban, she will invite jurors to infer that she has terrorist associations,” they wrote.
Her family says they’re also worried about Siddiqui’s mental state.
“The Aafia whom we know and love is not the same rational and focused Aafia who we see in this courtroom,” said her brother, Muhammad Siddiqui.
Prosecutors aren’t buying it.
“She is clearly doing it opportunistically,” prosecutor David Rody said even before the defense made its request.
“This is not any kind of political statement. She is trying to win the trial.”
Siddiqui, meanwhile, told the judge she no longer wants to attend the trial.
“I’m going to boycott from now on,” she said as she left the courtroom. “I’m not coming here again. Bye again.”
The judge is expected to rule on whether she can testify before the defense begins presenting its case to the jury today.
Siddiqui is on trial for allegedly snatched a Special Forces officer’s rifle and opening fire on a team of Americans sent to interrogate her after she was arrested in Afghanistan in 2008 with chemicals and weapons-making guides