NEW YORK - Defence lawyers for Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist convicted in February for allegedly shooting at the US interrogators in Afghanistan, have pleaded for minimum sentence in prison for her rather than life, saying she suffers from mental illness. In legal papers made public Wednesday, they argued that Ms Siddiqui deserved no more than 12 years behind bars because she had no intent to kill any one. The defence team said it was her mental illness that drove her conduct in July 2008, adding that was why the jury found the crimes werent premeditated. Ms Siddiqui is scheduled to be sentenced in mid-August but the date is expected to be moved to September or later. A spokeswoman for the Manhattan US Attorneys Office declined to comment. Meanwhile, a spokesman of the Pakistan Embassy in Washington said that every possible effort would be made on the diplomatic and legal fronts for Dr Siddiquis acquittal and early repatriation to Pakistan. Her lawyers would appeal in a higher court of law when she is awarded the sentence, he said. Dr Siddiqui was alleged to have taken an army soldiers M-4 assault rifle, which he had placed on the floor of an Afghan police compound; came out from behind a curtain in the office; and attempted to shoot the assembled FBI agents and soldiers. She was shot twice in the abdomen by a soldier and was hospitalised in Baghram Air Base near Kabul. After she made some recovery, she was brought to New York by FBI agents. The FBI agents and soldiers had travelled to Ghazni, Afghanistan, to interview Siddiqui after she was allegedly found with materials that included handwritten notes referring to a mass casualty attack in the US and listed several landmark locations in New York City, prosecutors said. The defence lawyers for Ms Siddiqui said in the filing that her bizarre behaviour was well on display during her trial, subjecting the court to frequent, nonsensical outbursts, and referring to her own testimony as self-destructive. What we are left with is a defendant who is clearly her own worst enemy, the filing read. Testifying in her own defence at trial, Dr Siddiqui said she was tortured at a secret prison before her detention. Charges that she attacked US personnel who wanted to interrogate her were crazy, she said. Its just ridiculous. After trial, she refused to meet with the probation officer or her lawyers, they said. The lawyers urged the sentencing judge to reject the probation offices recommendation that she be sentenced to life in prison, especially since she was never charged with any crimes of terrorism. The defence also said no one was hurt by her actions, so the life sentence she faces is unfair, and that none of the evidence about potential terrorist acts was ever found.