Hamid Hayat did not get a fair trial on charges related to terrorism because a judge refused to allow crucial testimony, Hayat’s attorney alleged in a motion filed Tuesday in federal court.
In her four-page filing, Wazhma Mojaddidi did not specifically name U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr., but she said jurors should have heard numerous portions of testimony.
A jury last week convicted the 23-year-old Lodi man on a charge of providing material support to terrorists and three counts of lying to the FBI. He faces up to 39 years in prison at his July 14 sentencing, which will likely be postponed while attorneys argue the motion for a new trial.
Burrell barred much of the testimony Mojaddidi had sought to introduce during the two-month trial, including that of a retired 35-year FBI agent who planned to tell the jury he believed the FBI bungled the case against Hayat and his father, Umer Hayat.
The elder Hayat, 48, was released to home detention Monday after his jury deadlocked on two counts of lying to the FBI. Prosecutors have not said if they will retry him.
Father and son were arrested last June in what was revealed to be a years-long FBI investigation. Agents had originally targeted two religious leaders in Lodi’s Muslim community, and an undercover informant testified he only met Hamid Hayat by accident after he’d been working in Lodi for eight months.
The jury heard almost nothing about the religious leaders’ roles in the case. The men were ultimately deported for administrative immigration violations but were never charged criminally.