By Sam Stanton
A federal appeals court has upheld the 2006 conviction of a Stockton man on charges that he provided material support to terrorists and made false statements to authorities.
Hamid Hayat, a cherry packer from Lodi who was 25 when he was sentenced to 24 years in prison in 2007, had appealed his conviction on the grounds that the jury foreperson was biased against him and that his lawyers were limited by the court from cross examining a key government witness. He also claimed his lawyers were prevented from introducing expert testimony.
A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals split over the appeal, with Judges Mary M. Schroeder and Marsha S. Berzon affirming his convictions in trial in Sacramento before U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr.
Judge A. Wallace Tashima dissented, concluding that the district court "erred in preventing Hayat from introducing exculpatory evidence and in allowing inflammatory expert testimony..."
Hayat was born in Stockton but spent nearly half of his life in Pakistan living with relatives. The federal government heralded the case as an example of its effort to ferret out terrorists in this country. The case made international headlines when Hayat was charged with attending a terrorist training camp in Pakistan and returning to the United States with the intent of attacking sites in this country.