Stanford ordered to detox before trial

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The Independent US

Allen Stanford, the former Texas billionaire and cricket mogul awaiting trial accused of defrauding investors out of $7bn (£4.4bn), was ordered by a judge to undergo a detox for a drug addiction that has helped render him incompetent to stand trial.

US District Judge David Hittner's ruling comes after a hearing earlier this month in which three psychiatrists testified that Mr Stanford is not competent to stand trial.

They said his addiction to an anti-anxiety medication as well as depression and a brain injury he suffered in a jail fight in September 2009 have left him unable to think clearly or help his attorneys prepare a defence.

Mr Hittner ordered that Mr Stanford be sent to a hospital in the US Bureau of Prisons where he can be treated for his drug addiction and receive additional psychiatric and neurological testing and ultimately undergo another competency exam.

Mr Stanford's attorney had wanted the financier to go through his detox at a private medical facility in Houston and then be allowed to continue his recovery at a local apartment which Mr Stanford's family would pay for.

But prosecutors, who had suggested the financier might be faking mental illness as a way to get out of jail pending his trial, had said Mr Stanford should be treated within the US federal prison system.