Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja's brother charged with attempting to influence a witness

Arsalan Khawaja, the brother of Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja, leaves Parramatta Police Station in Sydney on December 4, 2018.

Arsalan Tariq Khawaja, the older brother of Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja, is facing his second arrest this month. According to News Ltd, he has been charged with breach of bail conditions and attempting to influence a witness.

Khawaja had been released on bail after his initial arrest on December 4 by the counterterrorism police. He was charged with attempting to pervert justice, as well as forgery and making a false document. The document in question was a fake list containing plans to assassinate Australian politicians including Julie Bishop and then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Khawaja’s bail conditions are to stay over 100 metres from the University of NSW and he is forbidden to approach any witnesses or employees of the university’s IT department. It is unclear exactly who Khawaja has attempted to contact.

The forged list was found at University of NSW (UNSW) on August 30, and lead to the wrongful arrest of UNSW PhD student Mohamed Kamer Nizamdeen.

Rather than part of a sinister plot, as initially suspected, the threats were allegedly made up by Khawaja, scrawled in his rival’s notebook, in an elaborate bid to frame Nizamdeen. The 39-year-old was reportedly motivated by a jealous dispute over a woman and Nizamdeen’s growing academic and professional success. Nizamdeen’s friends and family have strongly disputed these claims.

Nizamdeem’s detention at Goulburn’s supermax prison in solitary confinement lead to a public outcry in Sri Lanka over unfair treatment and the lack of access to family. Under Australia’s preventative detention laws, terror suspects can be detained for up to 14 days.

He was able to speak with his parents before entering solitary confinement, according to reports by the ABC.

Nizamdeen’s uncle is Sri Lankan MP Faiszer Musthapha who has refrained from public criticism of the Australian justice system.

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