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Federal judge overturns California terror conviction

Posted at 3:24 PM, Jul 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-30 18:24:23-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge has overturned the conviction of a California man accused of plotting an attack in the United States after attending a terrorist training camp in Pakistan.

Federal prosecutors did not immediately say Tuesday whether they will seek to retry 36-year-old Hamid Hayat, a young cherry picker from Lodi who has already served about half of his 24-year sentence.

U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. ruled that Hayat was ineffectively represented by his inexperienced defense attorney. She failed to find alibi witnesses who would have testified that Hayat could not have attended the training camp.

Investigators initially claimed five men were part of an al-Qaida sleeper cell in the agricultural community south of Sacramento.

But only Hayat was convicted of terror-related crimes in 2006.