Khurram Sher, one-time Canadian Idol contestant, not guilty on terrorism charge

The doctor of pathology from London, Ont., was charged along with two other men in August 2010.


Khurram Syed Sher, a doctor who once sang on the Canadian Idol TV show, has been found not guilty of conspiring to facilitate terrorism.

The doctor of pathology from London, Ont., was charged along with two other men in August 2010.

Following the high-profile arrests, police said they seized terrorist literature, videos and manuals, along with dozens of electronic circuit boards allegedly designed to detonate homemade bombs remotely.

During the trial, the Crown said Sher, 32, had joined a homegrown group dedicated to supporting ``violent jihad'' by whatever means possible.

Federal lawyers said Sher agreed with two others to raise money, send cash abroad, take paramilitary training, make and use explosives, and scout targets in Canada.

Sher had pleaded not guilty.

A graduate of Montreal's McGill University, Sher worked as an anatomical pathologist at St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital in St. Thomas, Ont., south of London.

He made international headlines shortly after his arrest when it emerged he had once performed on the Canadian Idol program. He has been free on bail, under strict conditions, for years.

The Crown cited evidence at Sher's trial gathered through wiretaps of phone calls, intercepted emails and covertly installed listening devices.

Prosecutors played six segments of sometimes sketchy audio culled from electronic surveillance of a July 20, 2010, meeting in Ottawa between Sher and his two co-accused.

The Crown portrayed the gathering as a pivotal moment for the
purported plotters.

Sher's lawyers characterized the visit as a friendly dinner stopover en route from Montreal to his new job in southern Ontario.

Defence arguments painted him as an avid hockey fan who gave thousands of dollars to charity and helped with earthquake relief efforts in Pakistan.

Sher testified that he does not believe in violence, but rather giving back to the community.

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