Khurram Sher makes court appearance
By KATE DUBINSKI, THE LONDON FREE PRESS
Last Updated: August 27, 2010 11:36am
The London man facing terror-charges who made his first court appearance today is missing his family and hopes to be able to see them soon, his lawyer says.
Khurram Sher, 28, made his appearance in an Ottawa courtroom by video from the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre.
Sher, who has short hair and a beard, wore a dress shirt and pants, his hand thrust into his pockets.
“He’s doing as well as can be but he’s missing his family,” said his Mississauga-based lawyer, Anser Farooq, who has previously defended two other terrorist suspects who were rounded up as part of the so-called Toronto 18, arrested in 2006.
The charges against the two men Farooq represented, as well as five others, were stayed in 2008.
Farooq said he spoke to his client for about 15 minutes before another court appearance date was set for Wednesday, Sept. 1.
“He’s concerned about his family and that they’re comfortable. He wants them to be strong while they are separated and he hopes they can be back together soon,” Farooq said.
“My first concern is to see if his mother and other family members can have access to him (in the detention centre).”
The two men Sher is charged with, Hiva Mohammad Alizadeh, 30, and Misbahuddin Ahmed, 26, appeared in the same Ottawa courthouse Thursday, the day Sher was arrested outside his Byron home.
Farooq said he met with crown attorneys Friday morning to discuss the handover of information the crown plans to use against his client so the case can proceed to a bail hearing “as quickly as possible.”
“I’m trying to get him out on bail,” Farooq said.
Meanwhile, in St. Thomas, where Sher had recently been hired at the St.
Thomas-Elgin general hospital as a pathologist, officials were working out a plan to make sure patients weren’t affected by the loss of one of its doctors.
“There are only two pathologists here, so we’re down one. We worked out a contingency plan to have another pathologist work for us two days a week, in the short term,” said hospital president and CEO Paul Collins.
“All of the tests will be done and patients won’t be affected.”
Sher’s access to the hospital and patient records have been suspended while the hospital waits for word from police or other officials about the investigation.
“Pending contact from officials, we have to follow the appropriate legal and human resources protocols,” Collins said.
Although the staff at the hospital, where Sher started working at the beginning of the month, didn’t know the pathologist very well, they are still “reeling” from the allegations.
“The closeness of these allegations . . . People are still trying to cope,”
“We’re just waiting for director from authorities.”