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'Former billionaire 'competent' to stand trail for duping $7bn'


December 23, 2011 - Washington

Former Texan billionaire Allen Stanford, 61, is mentally fit to face trial, a US judge has ruled.

"I've found by a preponderance of the evidence Stanford is competent to stand trial," The Guardian quoted judge David Hittner, as saying.

The statement comes after prosecutors had argued that Stanford was trying to escape trial by faking Amnesia.

It gives a go-ahead to Stanford's trial to begin from next month.

He is facing charges of duping investors of over seven billion dollars through his Antigua-based Stanford International Bank to live off his income.

Stanford has been lodged in prison since his arrest in 2009 on the grounds that he is trying to escape punishment.

His trial was earlier postponed following three doctors' ruling that he was incapable of standing proceedings due to extensive retrograde Amnesia"

Stanford had earlier said he was "completely amnestic", adding his family had to "educate" him about his past years.

A psychologist, Robert Cochrane supported his claim pointing out that he had failed every test to expose fakers.

A neurologist, Ralph Lilly, denied that Stanford was fit to stand trial saying his memory "is like a crossword puzzle that's fallen to the ground and doesn't come together anymore."

ANI

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