Competency Hearing To Finish On Financier Stanford

HOUSTON (AP) - A judge is near a decision on whether jailed Texas financier R. Allen Stanford is competent to stand trial next month.

Testimony in a federal court competency hearing in Houston is expected to conclude Thursday, with U.S. District Judge David Hittner expected to then issue a ruling.

The disgraced financier had been under treatment at a federal prison hospital in North Carolina for an anti-anxiety drug addiction developed while jailed in Houston.

Prison hospital officials say Stanford is competent for trial. However, three of Stanford's medical experts say a brain injury the financier suffered in a jail fight has left him unable to aid his
own defense.

Stanford is accused of bilking investors out of $7 billion in a massive Ponzi scheme. His trial is set for Jan. 23.