Arsalan Khawaja pleads guilty for framing Sri Lankan colleague with fake terror plot

Arsalan Khawaja pleads guilty for framing Sri Lankan colleague with fake terror plot

Arsalan Khawaja pleads guilty for framing Sri Lankan colleague with fake terror plot

Written by Staff Writer

14 Nov, 2019 | 9:37 pm

Colombo (News 1st): The older brother of Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja has pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and dishonestly influencing a public official after police accused him of creating a fake terror plot to frame another man.

Arsalan Khawaja, aged 39, was arrested last year after authorities were alerted to a notebook found at the Sydney campus of the University of NSW which appeared to detail plans to kill politicians and attack landmarks in the city.

Counter-terrorism police initially arrested and charged Mohamed Kamer Nilar Nizamdeen, a Sri Lankan PhD student at the university, with knowingly making a document connected with terrorism.

He spent four weeks behind bars before he was granted bail. Charges were dropped in October 2018, two months after his arrest. At the time, NSW Police assistant commissioner Mick Willing said a forensic examination of the notebook showed “irregularities between examples of Nizamdeen’s handwriting and the handwriting in the notebook that specified the threats of acts of terrorism”.

Khawaja was arrested and charged in December last year, with police alleging he framed Nizamdeen after a dispute. Police laid further charges later that month, alleging Khawaja contacted a witness through her brother and intended to persuade her to give false evidence in the case against him.

Two other charges, relating to making a false document and influencing a witness to procure an acquittal, were withdrawn. Khawaja, who is in custody, will face the District Court in Sydney on November 29.

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