Stanford attorneys seek to quit case
The attorneys said they cannot represent the accused competently because budget restrictions are hampering their effectiveness.
HOUSTON, United States, Friday January 13, 2012 – U.S. District Judge David Hittner is to rule on a request by the court-appointed attorneys for accused Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford, who are seeking to quit the case.
Ali Fazel and Robert Scardino filed the withdrawal request less than two weeks ahead of jury selection that begins on January 23, stating that budget restrictions are hampering their effectiveness.
“The rulings of this court, the budget matters made public by this court, and matters still under seal have placed counsel in an untenable position,” the attorneys said. “Counsel cannot represent the accused competently.”
The matter involving the Texan financier, who is accused of running a US$7 billion Ponzi scheme through his Antigua-based bank, has been plagued by financial troubles.
Expert witnesses quit several weeks ago because they have not been paid for four months, and funding was also cut off for a jury consultant involved with Stanford’s defense.
Fazel said: “As a result of the funding issues in this case and in light of the current trial deadlines, the defense will be compelled to try the case without having had the resources necessary to render constitutionally adequate representation, while the government has been entirely unfettered by any financial resource constraints.”
Stanford has changed lawyers several times during the more than two years he has been held in federal custody.