Padilla Fit to Stand Trial, Prison Psychologist SaysMIAMI --Alleged al-Qaeda operative Jose Padilla has mild anxiety and personality disorders but is mentally able to stand trial, a prison psychologist said Monday in testimony that contradicted that of two defense experts.
Rodolfo Buigas, the supervisory forensic psychologist at the federal detention center in Miami, rejected the defense experts' opinion that Padilla cannot help with his defense because he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. Buigas said Padilla's anxiety and antisocial personality are minor problems.
"The nature and severity of the symptoms were not sufficient to interfere with some basic capabilities," Buigas told U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke, who must decide Padilla's mental fitness.
The question is crucial in determining whether Padilla, 36, and two co-defendants will stand trial in April on charges of being part of a North American terrorism support cell that provided finances, recruits and supplies to Islamic extremists worldwide. All three face up to life in prison if convicted.
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-- From News Services