02/10/2014 05:00 EST | Updated 04/11/2014 05:59 EDT

Khurram Sher, accused of al-Qaeda links, on trial in Ottawa

The trial of a onetime Canadian Idol contestant and former London, Ont., doctor accused of collaborating in an al-Qaeda-inspired plot gets underway in Ottawa this morning.

Khurram Syed Sher was arrested on Aug. 6, 2010, for allegedly working with two Ottawa men in a homegrown terror cell. 

A judge ordered that the two men not be named as their trial, which is expected to include some of the same evidence, is scheduled to begin in April.

The investigation included a wiretap at an Ottawa townhouse. 

Police said they also seized bomb-making manuals and 50 circuit boards intended to detonate explosives at the house.

Court is also expected to hear evidence from American and British agencies, but it could be deemed inadmissible, according to an expert on terrorism and security intelligence at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ont.

"It would be very difficult to demonstrate that this evidence would have been collected overseas in accordance with Canadian law and the Canadian Constitution," Christian Leuprecht said.

Sher is currently out on bail. Born in Montreal, he was working as a pathologist in London at the time of his arrest.

He spoke in a fake Pakistani accent and sang an Avril Lavigne song during his Canadian Idol audition.