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Hamid Hayat’s sentencing postponed at request of defense

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Posted: Friday, May 19, 2006 10:00 pm

Hamid Hayat’s sentencing on terror-related convictions was postponed Friday at the request of defense attorneys who hope he will be granted new trial.

Alleging jury misconduct during Hayat’s two-month trial and nine days of deliberations, defense attorney Wazhma Mojaddidi has asked that he be acquitted or granted a new trial.

Mojaddidi was joined at a Friday court appearance by prominent San Francisco appellate attorney Dennis Riordan, who is not currently being paid for his work.

The motion for a new trial will require case law, written and possibly oral arguments from both sides and at least one court hearing. A federal judge on Friday set deadlines for the defense and government to file papers, and scheduled a Nov. 17 hearing on the matter.

Hayat, 23, was convicted in April of providing material support to terrorists in Pakistan and three counts of lying to the FBI about it, and he faces up to 39 years in prison. Until a judge rules on the motion for a new trial, Hayat will remain in the Sacramento County Jail without bail.

Following a joint trial with two juries, jurors deadlocked on his father’s two counts of lying to FBI agents. Umer Hayat, 48, remains out of custody in home detention, and his second trial is scheduled to start June 5.

Riordan, who will help Mojaddidi in Hamid Hayat’s new trial, made nationwide news when he took up a prominent dog mauling case.

A jury had convicted Marjorie Knoller of murder and involuntary manslaughter after her dog fatally mauled a San Francisco woman, but Riordan convinced a judge to throw out the murder conviction. Instead of spending 15 years to life in prison, Knoller was sentenced to four years in prison.

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