Australian cricketer’s brother arrested for framing Sri Lankan

The brother of Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja, Arsalan Khawaja was arrested in Sydney on Tuesday morning following an ongoing counter-terrorism investigation into the document, which was found at the University of NSW in August, the Australian Associated Press reported.

It allegedly outlined threats to kill former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, former foreign minister Julie Bishop and attacks on a number of iconic sites.

Khawaja’s colleague Mohamed Kamer Nilar Nizamdeen spent four weeks in Goulburn’s Supermax jail after being charged with creating a document in connection with preparing for a terrorist act.

Nizamdeen, 25, was released on bail in late September and charges were dropped last month.

The UNSW contractor has returned home to Sri Lanka and plans to sue for compensation.

Khawaja, 39, was taken to Parramatta police station on Tuesday and charged with attempting to pervert justice and making a false document.

He was refused bail to appear at Parramatta Local Court on Tuesday afternoon.

“We believe that this was planned and it was calculated,” Assistant Commissioner Mick Willing told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.

“We have no information to suggest that there is any ongoing threat to the community arising from our inquiries into the matter.”

Mr Willing on Tuesday said Mr Nizamdeen’s arrest was regrettable and police have paid his court costs, but stopped short of apologising.

“We feel very sorry for him and what was happened to him but what we will be alleging is that he was set up in a planned and calculated manner,” he told reporters in Sydney.

“Motivated, in part, by a personal grievance.”

Asked whether that grievance was over a woman, Mr Willing said: “We will allege that that is part of the process”.

He said the matter was complicated and had taken up an “enormous” amount of resources.

“We were determined to get to the bottom of who was responsible and we are alleging we’ve done that now,” he said.

Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Ian McCartney said he stands by the decision to arrest Mr Nizamdeem at the time, given the “serious threats to a number of high-profile politicians and a iconic sites” in the notebook.

“At all times we’ve acted in good faith, we’ve acted expeditiously,” he told reporters.

Usman Khawaja has asked for privacy for him and his family.

“Out of respect for the process it’d be inappropriate for me to make any further comments,” he said on Tuesday while preparing for Australia’s first Test against India in Adelaide. (Colombo Gazette)


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