NEW YORK - The lawyer for Aafia Siddiqui Friday urged a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals to reverse her conviction and sentence to 86 years in prison, citing her mental illness and arguing that some of the evidences related to the case were questionable.Lawyers for the reversal of the heavy sentence given to Siddiqui, the Pakistani neuroscientist, and the US government side opposing it presented their respective arguments before the panel, citing a number of legal points. The panel will pronounce its verdict on the case in due course, while sources said it could take nearly six months.Outside the court, a number of civil rights activists staged a rally demanding Siddiqui’s immediate release and repatriation to Pakistan.Siddiqui was sentenced after a jury trial in the Federal District Court in New York City nearly two years ago for allegedly shooting at American intelligence officials in Afghanistan in 2008, a charge she consistently denied. She is now spending time in a prison in Carswell, Texas.On Friday, Dawn Cardi, her counsel, made a strong case before the justices that Siddiqui should been barred from giving evidence before the trial court because of her mental illness, which had been confirmed by doctors.Cardi said even though her client was judged competent to stand trial, she was so disabled by paranoid schizophrenia that the court should have taken the unusual step of barring her from testifying.“She had no intelligent understanding of what was going on,” Cardi said. “She was not rational.”Cardi also questioned the evidence collected from Siddiqui by two FBI agents at the US base in Bagram while she was recovering from the bullet wounds she sustained at a police facility in Ghazni, Afghanistan, in July 2008.She said the evidence was prejudicial because she had not been read her rights and therefore should not have been entertained. Moreover, she had not had the opportunity to consult any lawyers.Cardi also said during the trial, experts had provided concrete evidence that the M-4 rifle which she allegedly picked up had not been not fired and that no spent bullets or casings were found.She also since Siddiqui was not being tried for terrorism, the material containing diagrams of New York landmarks, allegedly recovered from her should not been introduced into the proceedings.But the government side maintained that Siddiqui was competent to stand trial. Prosecution lawyers also said she was not interrogated but had been interviewed.The government lawyers also justified the introduction of material recovered from her, saying she harboured hatred against the United States and shouted anti-American slogans at the time of her arrest.As regard the shooting incident, government lawyers that it was a pre-meditated and calculated move on Siddiqui’s part. But her defence lawyer against denied any premeditation on her part and that she had not shot at any one.Pakistan’s Consul General in New York Fakir Asif Hussain was among those present in the packed court room.