Less than three weeks before Allen Stanford’s fraud trial is scheduled to begin, his lawyers are preparing to tell a judge why the trial date should be put off for at least another two years. The hearing has been set for Thursday.
Court-appointed defense attorneys Ali Fazel and Richard Scardino have submitted papers in court contending that they will not be ready for the January 24, 2011 trial. They claim that little progress has been made on actual trial preparation and they need more time to properly analyze more than five million documents and dozens of potential witnesses. Besides trying to secure a delay in the fraud trial, the attorneys want Stanford released on bail so that he can prepare himself properly for the trial. On the other hand, his doctor has also declared him incompetent to stand trial, a claim that is to be tested by a government psychiatrist.
Stanford, who allegedly cheated investors in the Stanford International Bank in Antigua out of US$7 billion, has been in jail since June 2009.