By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4) – A Denver man convicted of a 2006 murder is appealing his conviction saying he was called bin Laden by his own attorney.

The man now serving a life sentence is the brother of James Ujaama, who was convicted of providing support to a terrorist organization.

He spent six years in prison convicted of providing material support to the Taliban. Now James Ujaama has turned his attention to his brother.

In Denver, Mustafa Ujaama was sentenced to life behind bars for a murder he claims was self defense.

Mustafa Ujaama (credit: CBS)

Mustafa Ujaama (credit: CBS)

But James believes his own terror-related case impacted his brother’s trial, He spoke with CBS 4 investigator Rick Sallinger in Seattle.

“They mentioned my name 22 times … and they mentioned terrorism in a case that had nothing to do with terrorism,”
he said.

RELATED: Denver Native Talks About Getting Tangled In The War On Terror

Mustafa Ujaama was found guilty, by a jury, of killing a man who entered his home, then putting the body in a car which was later found in Aurora.

But James Ujaama believes the trial was unfair.

“His attorney referred to my brother as Mustafa bin Laden,” he said.

During Mustafa Ujaam’s jury selection the judge cautioned the parties and prospective jurors to keep James Ujaama’s terror-related case out of it.

A transcript states the defense attorney told the court, “If this was Mustafa bin Laden, I’d be asking you these questions.Okay.”

He did refer to that as “an absolutely absurd extreme.”

James Ujaama’s conviction included plans to set up a jihad training camp in Bly, Oregon, but says that’s not related to his brother’s murder case.

“Was it self defense or not not whether Bly or my brother or whether or not he was a terrorist.”

Mustafa Ujaama (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger interviews Mustafa Ujaama (file photo credit: CBS)

The DA’s office had no comment when CBS4 asked about the case. Mustafa Ujaama’s attorney Chuck Elliot replied by email with the word “No” when asked if he had referred to his client as “Mustafa bin Laden.”

This story of two brothers who got in a lot of trouble with the law is not over.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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