Accused terrorist denies charges, tells court of his charity work

Dr. Khurram Syed Sher walks outside the Ottawa courthouse, where is he facing trial on...

Dr. Khurram Syed Sher walks outside the Ottawa courthouse, where is he facing trial on terror-related charges. (DARREN BROWN Ottawa Sun)

Tony Spears, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 8:00 PM ET

OTTAWA — An accused terror conspirator took the stand in his own defence Tuesday after the Crown closed its case.

London, Ont. pathologist Dr. Khurram Syed Sher testified about his love of fantasy hockey and his many charitable acts.

"I don't believe in violence," Sher, 31, told defence lawyer Michael Edelson. "I believe in giving back to the community."

Edelson took the Quebecer through his life, from childhood on Montreal's south shore to his medical degree from McGill University and a $365,000-a-year job at a London-area hospital.

During his studies, he went to Pakistan to give medical aid to victims of a catastrophic 2005 earthquake, after which he wired money to help the recovery effort, he said.

He later returned to Pakistan as part of his residency, which also took him to a Jerusalem hospital.

"There's a lot of need in that area," said Sher.

Fearing what might happen to him in such volatile parts of the world, he left behind instructions to his now-ex-wife in case he got "illegally detained or arrested."

He asked her not to wear her niqab if she did media interviews, lest his captors think he was some kind of "extremist," Sher said.

In Canada, he helped out with blood and food drives, giving over $10,000 to charities in 2009, according to his tax return.

RCMP arrested Sher in August 2010.


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