Usman Khawaja’s brother, Arsalan, to be imprisoned for fake terror plots against two men
He is likely to be sentenced for 10 years.
Updated - Oct 2, 2020 10:37 pm
Australia cricketer Usman Khawaja‘s brother Arsalan Khawaja is set to be imprisoned on November 5 after he admitted to his fake terror plots against two different men in 2017 and 2018. However, he has pleaded to the district court for leniency as his mental illness has been proved during that time.
Arsalan has admitted to four charges which also include misguiding the court twice in the last two years. While the decision to be imprisoned was made by Judge Robert Weber, his sentence is yet to be declared in a district court. He is likely to be sentenced for 10 years. His barrister, Phillip Boulten SC, appeared in court on Friday, October 2, and told the court that his client is accepting a long-term imprisonment.
At the same time, Arsalan Khawaja wept in front of the court even as his lawyer said that he is ashamed of himself for what he has done. “The offender has always accepted that the seriousness of the offending is one which can only be punished appropriately by a term of imprisonment and one of some significance. He’s ashamed of himself, he finds it hard to live with it. He’s not bunging this on, it’s real. It’s a real sadness about what he did,” Boulten said according to news.com.au.
Boulten testified Arsalan suffered from borderline personality disorder
Mr Boulten testified to the court that his client was suffering from a borderline personality disorder and was experiencing audio and video hallucinations back in 2017 and 2018 when he framed the two men. “On the one hand, there’s little doubt that at the time the offender did what he did that he was suffering from mental illness. That it was enduring, severe and debilitating.
“He would never have done anything remotely like this if he wasn’t mentally ill. His mental illness was driving his thinking, it was preposterous. It was goal-orientated, but it was crazy,” he added. As far as Arsalan’s targets are concerned, the second man he framed was Mohamed Kamer Nizamdeen who was his colleague at the University of NSW.
Khawaja took Nizamdeen’s notepad and fabricated false record in it only for the latter to be arrested by counter-terrorism police. However, the charges on him were dropped in October 2018 when the handwriting investigation proved that Nizamdeen hadn’t made those entries.