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Trial Date Is Set for Lodi Men

A father and son are accused of lying about the son attending an Al Qaeda camp.

January 07, 2006|From Associated Press

SACRAMENTO — A father and son from Lodi will be tried on terrorism-related charges beginning Feb. 14. A federal judge set the date Friday over the objection of prosecutors.

Assistant U.S. Atty. S. Robert Tice-Raskin argued that more time was needed because some evidence against the pair was obtained using methods so secret that they can't be disclosed in open court or to anyone without a security clearance.

Umer Hayat, 47, was arrested in June and charged with lying to the FBI by denying that his son attended an Al Qaeda training camp in Pakistan during 2003 and 2004. His son, 23-year-old Hamid Hayat, was arrested the same day and faces charges of supporting terrorism and lying to investigators.

Defense attorneys said they have had the government's evidence since July and consider it favorable to their case. Neither side revealed the nature of the proof, which is unclassified and will be made public during the trial.

"If I was concerned about what the government has revealed, I wouldn't be asking for a speedy trial date," said Johnny Griffin III, Umer Hayat's attorney. "We don't care how the government obtained it; we want that piece of evidence [shown to jurors]. We feel it will be helpful -- extremely helpful. If that's the only classified evidence we're dealing with, then we don't have a problem."

Prosecutors estimate the trial could last two months.

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