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Judge to rule on Elizabeth Smart testimony

Sept. 26, 2009 at 12:17 PM   |   Comments

SALT LAKE CITY, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Utah says he will probably decide Monday whether Elizabeth Smart will be allowed to testify at the pending hearing of her alleged kidnapper.

Brian David Mitchell faces a competency hearing in November to determine if he is mentally fit to stand trial and his lawyer is concerned about Smart discussing her opinions of him rather than sticking to the facts of the case.

Smart was allegedly abducted as a child by Mitchell in 2002 and spent a year as his captive before she was freed.

The issue was debated Friday before U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball. Defense attorney Robert Steele wants the witness list limited to mental-health professionals. The prosecution, however, argued it was entitled to present its case with lay witnesses if it desired.

The (Salt Lake City) Deseret News said Saturday that Elizabeth father, Ed Smart, said outside the courtroom that prohibiting his daughter from testifying would be unfair because Mitchell has largely refused to cooperate with the psychiatrists who have examined him in jail.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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