June 28, 2010 / 12:35 PM / 9 years ago

Five Americans appeal terrorism convictions in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Five American men sentenced last week to serve 10 years in a Pakistani prison on terrorism charges appealed against their conviction Monday, their defense lawyer said. The five Americans, all students in their 20s, were sentenced Thursday for contacting militants online and plotting attacks by a court in Pakistan, fighting its own battle with Islamist radicals.

“We believe all evidence we produced in their defense were not considered by the court and it relied on prosecution witnesses,” defense lawyer Hassan Katchela told Reuters.

The appeal will be heard by the Lahore High Court, but no date has been set for the hearing.

Waqar Hussain Khan, Ahmed Minni, Ramy Zamzam, Aman Yemer and Umar Farooq were each charged with five counts of conspiracy, raising funds for terrorist acts, planning war against Pakistan, directing others to launch attacks and attempting to cross the Afghan border illegally.

They were detained in December in Pakistan’s central city of Sargodha, 190 km (120 miles) southeast of Islamabad.

Immediately after last week’s court appearance, Deputy Prosecutor Rana Bakhtiar said the men were convicted on two counts each, with one carrying a 10-year sentence and the other carrying five years, to be served concurrently. They were also fined a total of 70,000 rupees ($820).

Bakhtiar said the court issued the 10-year sentences for conspiracy and five years for raising funds. The other charges were dropped. (Writing by Chris Allbritton; Reporting by Kamran Haider; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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