Elizabeth Holmes, founder and former executive director of Theranos, arrives for a hearing in the U.S. District Court in the Federal Building of Robert F. Peckham in San Jose, California on Monday, November 4, 2019.

Yichuan Cao | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, whose criminal trial is due to begin in July, is asking for a delay because she is pregnant.

In a trial on Friday, her defense attorneys and prosecutors asked Judge Edward Davila to postpone the start of her trial for six weeks to begin August 31, 2021.

“On March 2, 2021, the defendant’s attorney notified the government that the defendant is pregnant and is expected to be due in July 2021,” Holmes prosecutors and attorneys write. “Both parties agree that in view of this development it is not possible to start the process on July 13, 2021.”

Further details were not immediately available.

The process has already been postponed three times due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Holmes’ legal team was ready to address the issue of mental health as part of their defense strategy. In a previous court case, Holmes’ attorneys wrote that they intend to produce evidence “relating to a mental illness or a mental defect or other psychological condition of the defendant relating to the subject of guilt”.

This would be the expert testimony of Dr. Mindy Mechanic, a professor of clinical psychology at California State University Fullerton, who, according to the university’s website, “focuses on the psychosocial consequences of violence, trauma and victimization, with an emphasis on violence against women and other forms of violence interpersonal violence. “

The judge gave federal prosecutors the opportunity to self-examine Holmes’ mental health and to be examined by two experts, a psychologist and a psychiatrist.

Holmes and her former COO Sunny Balwani each face a dozen charges of fraud and 20 years in prison for falsely claiming that Theranos technology can perform dozens of blood tests on just a drop or two of blood.

The Silicon Valley startup was once valued at $ 9 billion before it closed in 2018.