Usman Khawaja's brother has been charged with trying to influence a witness over a case where he allegedly framed a love rival with a fake terror plot, according to the police. Arsalan Khawaja was released on bail in on December 4 after appearing in a Sydney court on charges of forgery and attempting to pervert justice. He was re-arrested on Thursday "after allegedly attempting to influence a witness" in the counter-terror investigation, a New South Wales state police spokeswoman told AFP. The 39-year-old was charged with breaching his bail conditions and influencing a witness in judicial procedures. He was refused bail ahead of his court appearance in Sydney.
Sri Lankan Mohamed Nizamdeen was arrested in August over a "hit list" written in a notebook, which outlined plans to kill then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. But police released Nizamdeen in September and later dropped the charges after investigators could not link the handwriting in the notebook to him. Investigators have said they believe Arsalan Khawaja set up his university colleague Nizamdeen in relation to a dispute over a woman.
Pakistan-born batsman Usman Khawaja, 32, is playing in the ongoing third Test between Australia and India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Earlier, Arsalan was arrested by counter-terrorism police on Tuesday over a fake terror-plot that led to his colleague, Mohamed Nizamdeen spending four weeks in solitary confinement.
Khawaja, who was batting in the nets in the lead up to the first Test between India and Australia in Adelaide when the news of his brother's arrest broke out said he did not want to talk about the matter but requested privacy for him and his family while speaking to the press after his training session in Adelaide. Speaking to ESPNCricinfo at that time, Khawaja had requested privacy and did not make many comments. "This is a matter for the police to deal with. Out of respect for the process, it'd be inappropriate for me to be making any further comment. I just ask for you to please respect my privacy and my family's privacy during this time," Khawaja said.
Khawaja has struggled in the ongoing Test series against India, managing just one fifty as the four-match series is level 1-1.
-With Agency Inputs-