April 25, 2006

Judge declares mistrial in Calif. terrorism case

SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) - A U.S. District Court
judge declared a mistrial on Tuesday in the trial of a
Pakistani-American man charged with lying to federal
investigators during a terrorism probe.

Judge Garland Burrell Jr. released jurors who had
deadlocked in the case of 48-year-old Umer Hayat, a Lodi,
California man who federal prosecutors had charged with lying
during a probe into whether he and his son Hamid Hayat, 23, had
links to terrorism training camps in Pakistan.

The two men initially told investigators that they had no
knowledge of the camps. But later in videotaped confessions the
elder Hayat said he visited several camps as an observer,
including a camp where his son had said he had trained.

Defense attorneys said the two told investigators what they
wanted to hear.

Jurors continue to deliberate over charges facing Hamid
Hayat. Federal prosecutors have charged him with lying to
investigators and providing material support to terrorists.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Hayat and his
father, an ice cream truck driver, in June 2005. The FBI's
probe was aided by an informant in the Muslim community of
Lodi, a farm town south of Sacramento, the state capital.

(Reporting by Michael Fitzgerald in Sacramento, California)