Australian Cricketer Usman Khawaja has staunchly defended his older brother over a messy entanglement with a love rival he falsely accused of plotting a terror attack.
Arsalan Tariq Khawaja, 40, wrote a fake terror attack hit-list in a notebook then claimed the book belonged to his UNSW colleague Kamer Nizamdeen.
He was arrested in 2018 over the incident which threatened to take down then-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
During a sentencing hearing at the NSW District Court on Friday, the famous batsman told the court his brother’s actions were out of character.
Arsalan Tariq Khawaja, 40, (pictured) wrote a fake terror attack hit-list in a notebook then claimed the book belonged to his UNSW colleague Kamer Nizamdeen
Australian Cricketer Usman Khawaja has staunchly defended his older brother (pictured together) over a messy entanglement with a love rival he falsely accused of plotting a terror attack
‘Up until this period of his life, he had been an ideal citizen…a model citizen, up until recently,’ Usman Khawaja said.
He testified that he had looked up to his brother who had been very popular, did well at school and university, worked at IBM at a high level and obtained clearance to do government work.
Usman Khawaja also told the court he was much loved by his cricketing teammates.
When his brother was arrested, he maintained it was a police set-up and he’d done nothing wrong.
But he acknowledged Arsalan Khawaja has since admitted his actions, undergone treatment and apologised every time he spoke to him.
Australian Cricketer Usman Khawaja (pictured) faced court on Friday to defend his brother with a glowing character reference
His comments were made via audio-visual link from Brisbane as part of evidence for his brother’s sentencing
The 40-year-old pleaded guilty earlier this year to four charges including perverting the course of justice and forging a document for a public official to accept as genuine.
Arsalan Khawaja broke down as he admitted forging entries in the notebook of his UNSW colleague Kamer Nizamdeen in August 2018 after being jealous of his contact with a female friend.
The entries also included death threats against the governor-general, as well as lists to attack police stations, an Anzac Day ceremony, the Boxing Day Test match and landmarks including St Mary’s Cathedral.
Mr Nizamdeen was arrested and held in a high-security jail for one month until the truth was discovered.
‘Kamer is a top bloke. He is a friend of mine and I let him down,’ Khawaja said.
‘I caused him a lot of pain. I caused his family a lot of pain. He didn’t do anything.’
He denied wanting him arrested, saying he just wanted him to be investigated and to leave work so Khawaja could spend time with the woman.
Asked why he didn’t tell police the truth after his friend’s arrest, he said ‘to be blunt, i was a coward’ and didn’t want to be arrested himself.
The 40-year-old pleaded pleaded guilty earlier this year to four charges including perverting the course of justice and forging a document for a public official to accept as genuine
He also admitted he had framed another man in 2017, phoning authorities to make visa and terrorism accusations based off similar feelings of jealousy.
But naming his famous brother as a possible target of his latest victim revealed his own identity, ultimately landing him in jail and before the courts over the incident.
He also denied wanting the man deported, saying he had just hoped that the call would ‘simply lead me to getting more time’ with a woman connected to them both.
He spoke of being ‘terrified of abandonment’, of hearing voices and having hallucinations, and having been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder for which he is now being treated.
‘I am ashamed of the person I had become before I came to jail.’
The sentence hearing will continue before Judge Robert Weber on October 2.
Kamer Nizamdeen (pictured) spent a month in Goulburn Supermax jail after the notebook was found before being released by authorities after charges were dropped