‘Canadian Idol’ contestant acquitted on terrorism

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — A former “Canadian Idol” contestant was acquitted on Tuesday of conspiring to facilitate terrorism, with the judge finding insufficient evidence that he intended to join a plot.

Khurram Syed Sher, an Ontario doctor whose 2010 arrest got international attention because of his appearance on the contest show, had pleaded not guilty to the charges. Prosecutors had accused Sher of agreeing with two other men to raise money, send cash abroad, take paramilitary training, make and use explosives, and scout targets in Canada.

Superior Court Justice Charles Hackland said that while Sher probably harbored jihadist sympathies, he was not convinced the doctor genuinely intended to join a conspiracy.

“His career has been ended, he’s lost over a million dollars in income, prestige in the community, and it’s been a very, very tough four years,” defense lawyer Michael Edelson said. “His family has left, he’s had reduced access to his children — it’s been tragic.”

Sher appeared on the singing-contest show in 2008, singing a comical version of Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated.”

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