A federal prosecutor in Manhattan said Thursday that two government psychiatrists had concluded that a Pakistani neuroscientist charged with trying to kill American soldiers and F.B.I. agents in Afghanistan had been faking her symptoms of mental illness.
An earlier court-ordered psychological evaluation had concluded that the neuroscientist, Aafia Siddiqui, 37, was unfit for trial as a result of a mental disease, “which renders her unable to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against her or to assist properly in her defense,” a court document shows.
Then last month, prosecutors said two new evaluations by government-retained psychiatrists had found differently, that she was not suffering from mental illness.[…]
According to a government document, one psychiatrist wrote that Ms. Siddiqui “has most likely fabricated reported psychiatric symptoms to give credibility to her claims that she suffers a mental disorder.”[…]
She has been held since last summer when she was first brought to New York for prosecution from Afghanistan.
She had been taken into custody after being found loitering outside an Afghan police station with suspicious items in her handbag. Prosecutors have said that while she was detained, she picked up an unsecured rifle and fired at least two shots toward a soldier who was part of an American team of F.B.I. agents and military personnel who were about to question her. No one was hit. Ms. Siddiqui has pleaded not guilty.
Judge Berman said he would hold a hearing on June 1 to determine Ms. Siddiqui’s competency. He set a tentative trial date of July 6, in the event she is found fit for trial.