Judge Recommends 2006 Lodi Terror Conviction be Vacated

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SACRAMENTO — A federal judge has recommended that the 2006 terror conviction of a Lodi man be vacated, according to court documents.

Hamid Hayat was convicted of providing material support to terrorists and making false statements to federal investigators. Prosecutors said Hayat had traveled to Pakistan to spend time at an al-Qaida training camp before returning to the United States.

Hayat’s father, Umer, was also charged with giving false statements to the FBI. His case ended in a hung jury.

“This court finds Hayat was prejudiced by his trial attorney’s failure to investigate and present the testimony of alibi witnesses,” Judge Deborah Barnes wrote. “The failure violated Hayat’s Sixth Amendment right to the effective assistance of counsel.”

Barnes’ recommendation Friday to vacate Hayat’s conviction comes after years of appeals. The recommendation now goes to the judge who presided above the original trial.

Each side will have 30 days to file their objections. The U.S. Attorney’s Office issued a statement later Friday:

“We are reviewing the magistrate judge’s ruling.  It has consistently been our position that Mr. Hayat received effective representation at trial and that his conviction by a jury, subsequently affirmed by the Ninth Circuit, is completely valid.  We are presently considering all our options, to include asking for further review by the district court judge.”

This was the first terrorism-related trial in California.
This is a developing story.

Read the full opinion below:

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