Defense wants Elizabeth Smart off witness list

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Defense attorneys for the man charged in the 2002 abduction of Elizabeth Smart are asking a federal judge to keep her from testifying during his competency hearing.

A 10-day competency hearing for Brian David Mitchell is set to begin Nov. 30.

Federal prosecutors included Smart on the list of 39 witnesses they expect to call.

A judge will hear arguments on the issue Sept. 25 in U.S. District Court.

Mitchell's attorney, Robert Steele, did not immediately return a message Thursday.

U.S. attorney's office spokeswoman Melodie Rydalch declined comment, but said prosecutors have until Monday to file a response with the court.

Ed Smart, Elizabeth's father, says his daughter is ready to testify.

"She doesn't want to see this happening to others, and it's been six years, and it's about time," Ed said.

He says he's confused about the defense motion to keep Elizabeth from testifying, saying who knows him better than someone who was stuck with him for nine months?


Story compiled with contributions from Cleon Wall and AP writer Jennifer Dobner (Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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