Recorded conversations that appear to show three men discussing an attack on a repatriation ceremony at CFB Trenton were played Tuesday at the trial of a Canadian doctor and former Canadian Idol contestant who is accused of having links to al-Qaeda.
Dr. Khurram Sher, a former pathologist who lived in London, Ont., is accused of joining an al-Qaeda-inspired terrorist cell in Ottawa, where the trial began yesterday.
After opening statements finished in Ontario Superior Court, the courtroom heard tape of a conversation recorded in 2010 from a microphone that had been planted in a suburban Ottawa home.
On it, three men can be heard talking about their goals in Canada.
Sher, who is charged with conspiring to knowingly facilitate a terrorist activity, can be heard saying bodies of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan would always come back to CFB Trenton and people would always come out to watch.
The three men are also heard talking about how their beards could make them stand out. They discussed shaving them off and Sher suggested they could also wear “Canadian colours.”
On the recording, Sher also said he could get items to build a bomb at a hardware store.
More tape coming Wednesday
Sher, who is in his early 30s, was arrested Aug. 6, 2010, for his alleged involvement in a terrorist cell. At the time he was working at St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital.
When the trial began Monday, the Crown outlined evidence including 96 wiretaps, 33 emails and 30 pages of admissions.
Sher’s defence team has suggested Sher came upon a pre-existing conspiracy and may not have shared or understood its goals.
On Monday, the defence spent part of the morning attempting to set ground rules for the Crown, trying to force prosecutors to lay out a version of Sher’s involvement in the alleged conspiracy and attempt to prove that exact version.
On Tuesday, the judge dismissed that motion, saying he’ll hear the evidence and decide on Sher’s involvement. The trial is happening before a judge alone.
Sher was born in Montreal and was working in London at the time of his arrest.
He is also known for singing an Avril Lavigne song during a Canadian Idol audition, in which he spoke with a fake Pakistani accent.
The trial is set to continue Wednesday, when the end of the conversation between the three men is expected to be played in court.