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Mistrial declared in Calif. terrorism case

Written by: Staff

SACRAMENTO, Calif, Apr 25 (Reuters) A US District Court judge declared a mistrial today in the trial of a Pakistani-American man charged with lying to federal investigators during a terrorism probe.

Judge Garland Burrell Jr released jurors who had deadlocked in the case of 48-year-old Umer Hayat, a Lodi, California man.

Prosecutors had charged him with lying durin a probe into whether he and his son Hamid Hayat, 23, had links to terrorism training camps in Pakistan.

''Each juror felt they had gone as far as they could go and no one was going to change their minds,'' said Carol Davis, a spokeswoman for the US District Court for the Eastern District of California in Sacramento.

Jurors continue to deliberate over charges facing Hamid Hayat.

Federal prosecutors have charged him with lying to investigators and providing material support to terrorists.

The father and son initially told investigators that they had no knowledge of the camps. But later in videotaped confessions the elder Hayat said he visited several camps as an observer, including a camp where his son had said he had trained.

Defense attorneys said the two told investigators what they wanted to hear.

''He's not a terrorist. There is no evidence he is a terrorist,'' said Johnny Griffin III, Umer Hayat's defense lawyer. ''Hopefully the government will not retry this case.'' Prosecutors were not immediately available to comment on if they would revive their case against Umer Hayat.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Hayat and his father, an ice cream truck driver, in June 2005. The FBI's probe was aided by an informant in the Muslim community of Lodi, a farm town south of Sacramento, the state capital.


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