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US: Arrested IIT alumnus's sentencing postponed

Last updated on: December 11, 2009 12:16 IST

The sentencing of Indian Institute of Technology alumnus Vikram Buddhi, who has been in prison since 2006 for posting hate messages against former president George Bush has been postponed for Friday by a US court. The sentence hearing for 38-year-old PhD student of Purdue University was postponed on Thursday as the judge said there are certain other legal issues that need to be addressed.

The hearing went on for seven hours during which Buddhi represented himself presenting his case before the Indiana court. Earlier on Thursday, Buddhi, who has been in a US federal prison since 2006, fired his lawyer Arlingpon Foley, saying that he has not been discussing the case with him properly and not giving him proper time. Buddhi cross-examined three witnesses that were produced by the prosecution.

He has been kept at Chicago Correctional Centre for the last 40 months. The indictment alleged that Buddhi made threats against the then US president, vice president Dick Cheney and their wives, and called for bombings of US infrastructure. Foley is the second lawyer to appointed for Buddhi after his first lawyer was removed apparently on the same grounds.

Buddhi has said that the charges against him are false and he has been wrongly and unfairly convicted. His sentencing was initially scheduled for November 19, 2009 but was postponed to December 10. In India, Buddhi's parents have been knocking on the government's doors for help. IItians too have been campaigning to get Buddhi freed.

Yoshita Singh in Chicago
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