Australia batsman Usman Khawaja’s brother Arsalan Tariq Khawaja has broken down and apologised for framing a love rival with false terrorism claims. Khawaja also told a judge he hadn’t wanted him arrested.
In 2018, the cricketer’s brother was charged with attempting to pervert justice and forgery after he used fake documents containing a terror plot to kill senior politicians to “set up” his colleague over a personal grievance.
He had made forged entries in his rival’s book, including threats to kill then prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and the governor-general and attack major landmarks. He was later arrested too as the police started investigation into the fake terrorism case.
In the latest turn of events, Arsalan Tariq Khawaja has described the rival as “a top bloke” while also saying that when his colleague was arrested and taken into custody he was too much of a coward to tell police the truth about fake diary entries.
“I have caused him a lot of pain, I have caused his family a lot of pain,” he testified at his sentence hearing in the NSW District Court on Friday, according to The Canberra Times.
Arsalan Tariq Khawaja has also pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and dishonestly influencing a public official. In his evidence, the 40-year-old admitted earlier making false terrorist claims to authorities about another man, also telling them his brother was a famous cricketer.
Khawaja denied that the fake diary entries were intended to get his love rival arrested, saying he just thought he would be investigated by the university’s security. The hearing is continuing.
Usman Khawaja’s character reference for brother:
The Australia batting star has given a character reference for his elder brother. As per reports in Australia, Usman told the court on Friday that his brother Arsalan was an “ideal citizen” who was school captain, worked at a high level at IBM, and obtained a Defence clearance to do government work.
“Everything he did was the model citizen, up until recently,” the cricketer was quoted as saying by The Sydney Morning Herald.
He said his brother was loved by his cricketing teammates, and he “couldn’t really believe it” when he was arrested. The hearing will continue in October.