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spookyturtle

Perth, Australia, Woman asks to wear burqa in witness box

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A PERTH judge is set to decide this week whether a Muslim woman can wear a full burqa while giving evidence before a jury in a fraud case.

WA District Court Judge Shauna Deane is due to hear submissions on Thursday from lawyers for the prosecution and defence regarding the witness who wishes to wear the burqa, also called a niqab.

The woman is a strict Muslim who does not want to show her face to men.

Defence lawyers have raised concerns about how the jury is expected to read the woman's facial expressions if they cannot see her face.

Today, the jury in the case was discharged after the estimated time for the fraud trial of a Muslim college director blew out from 10 days to five weeks, causing attendance problems for five jurors.

A new jury will be empanelled when a retrial is approved.

After the jury was discharged, defence lawyer Mark Trowell told reporters a jury would not be able to "make a proper assessment" of the witness if they could not see her face.

He said it was believed to be the first time in Australia that a witness had wanted to wear a full burqa.

Anwar Sayed has been charged with fraudulently obtaining $1.125 million from the state and federal governments by falsifying the number of students at the Muslim Ladies College of Australia in Kenwick in Perth's south.

Sayed from Canning Vale, is the director of Muslim Link Australia, which runs the school.

He has surrendered his passport and will be restricted from travelling internationally and domestically between now and when his trial is rescheduled.

The case will go to a trial listing hearing on Friday in front of the chief judge.

http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/woman-asks-to-wear-burqa-in-witness-box/story-e6frfku0-1225900770408

Edited by spookyturtle

R.I.P Spooky 2004-2015

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