Allen Stanford fit for trial, says judge


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The Independent US

Texas financier Allen Stanford is mentally competent to stand trial, a judge said today.

US district judge David Hittner announced his ruling after a nearly three-day competency hearing in Houston federal court for the financier.

Stanford is accused of cheating investors out of $7bn (£4.5bn) in a massive pyramid scheme. His trial is set for 23 January.

Stanford had been declared incompetent in January due to an anti-anxiety drug addiction he developed while jailed in Houston, and was treated for eight months at a federal prison hospital in North Carolina.

Prison hospital officials said Stanford is competent for trial. However, medical experts who testified for Stanford said a brain injury that the financier suffered in a jail fight has left him unable to aid his own defence.