Pakistani-born challenges his conviction in terrorism case

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Sydney, Nov 5 (UNI) Pakistani-born Faheem Khalid Lodhi, who was convicted on three terrorism-related charges, has challenged the verdict, claiming his right to a fair trial was violated.

Counsel for Lodhi Phillip Boulten, SC, said the defence team had demanded access to certain documents for the trial but it was opposed by the Attorney-General.

Under laws relating to ''public interest immunity'', the trial judge had to give the ''greatest weight'' in the argument to whether there would be a risk of prejudice to national security.

''It goes as close as it can to directing the court to make the order the Attorney-General seeks,'' Mr Boulten was quoted by the offical Australian Broadcasting Corporation as saying in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal.

Describing it as ''unconstitutional'', the barrister said it was a step into the judicial area by the legislature.

''It violates his right to a fair trial,'' he added.

Lodhi was jailed last year for a maximum of 20 years after being found guilty of three terrorism-related charges. The 37-year-old Pakistani-born architect was convicted of acting in preparation for a terrorist act by seeking prices for chemicals capable of making explosives.

He was also found guilty of possessing instructions for making explosives, detonators and poisons, and of buying two maps of the national electricity grid, connected with preparation for a terrorist act.


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