HOUSTON, United States – The court-appointed attorneys for accused Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford have filed a new motion to delay the January 23 start of trial after being ordered to remain on the job.
They have asked for a continuance on the basis that a non-attorney member of the defense team will not be available on that date.
US District Judge David Hittner said that request could be argued this week at a pretrial hearing.
The judge previously denied a request by Stanford’s attorneys for the trial date to be delayed by three months.
Last Friday, the judge ordered Stanford’s four attorneys, among them Ali Fazel and Robert Scardino to continue preparing for the trial after they submitted a withdrawal request two weeks ahead of jury selection. The attorneys said budget restrictions were hampering their effectiveness.
The judge, in a two-page order said, “The defense team’s primary reason for seeking such relief is based upon its self-proclamation that Stanford’s right to effective assistance of counsel will be impaired.
“The court notes that the defense team maintains this position despite the fact that two of its lawyers – Scardino and Fazel – have been appointed to this case since November 2010, and the other two lawyers – Parras and McGuire – have been appointed to this case since March 2011,” Judge Hittner added.
He also denied motions by the defense to throw out the case on constitutional grounds.
The 61-year-old Stanford was indicted in June 2009 on charges of defrauding investors through his Antigua-based Stanford International Bank Ltd. The former Texas financier has denied all wrongdoing.