A Pakistani woman accused of trying to kill a U.S. soldier and FBI agents while in custody in Afghanistan is mentally unfit for trial, according to a court-ordered psychological evaluation.
Aafia Siddiqui is unable to understand the nature and consequences of court proceedings and cannot assist properly in her defense, the evaluation at the Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas determined.
U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman described the results in an order sent to attorneys Monday.
Berman said the evaluation was being filed under seal. He scheduled a conference Wednesday for lawyers to discuss what should happen next.
Siddiqui was charged with attempted murder and assault after she was accused of grabbing a rifle at a police station in Afghanistan in July and shooting at U.S. Army and law enforcement personnel. She was shot and wounded as well.
In August, she was brought to the United States to face the charges.
'Held by the dark side'
At the request of her lawyer, Elizabeth Fink, and federal prosecutors, she was transferred last month to the Texas facility that specializes in mental health treatment for women.
Fink said Monday that she anticipated a heated conversation at Wednesday's hearing about whether Siddiqui should be medicated for depression.
Fink said she was not surprised her client was incompetent for trial.
"There's every reason to believe that she was broken and that what happened to her that put her in this state was caused by her being held by the dark side, whether that's the Americans or the Pakistanis or the Afghanis," Fink said.
Siddiqui has failed to appear in court several times and Fink has noted that her client has refused to leave her jail cell, interact with her lawyers or open legal mail.
"She's been broken and she's lost her mind," Fink said.
A message for comment left with federal prosecutors was not immediately returned.