Remove veil, witness told

2010-08-19 12:47
Perth - An Australian court ruled on Thursday that a Muslim witness must remove her face-covering veil to give evidence at a fraud trial, stoking national debate on the issue.

The Perth District Court ruled that the woman, 36, must take off the niqab veil during her testimony, but Judge Shauna Deane stressed that the order should not be considered a national precedent.

Known only as Tasneem, the South African woman has worn an all-covering Islamic dress since she was 17 and told the court she only removed it in the company of her husband.

But the defence said jurors would not be able to properly assess the credibility of her evidence without being able to see her facial expressions.

"The trial process must be fair to all concerned," the Judge said.

Inappropriate


"In the end, and I stress in the circumstances of this particular case, I do not consider it to be appropriate to permit the witness to give evidence at trial whilst wearing a niqab," she added.

The judge was yet to decide whether the woman can give evidence by video link to protect her modesty.

The case revived debate over the issue, with both Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her conservative rival for Saturday's election, Tony Abbott, expressing discomfort at all-enveloping Muslim dress.

"I don't particularly like the burqa, and I would prefer that it was not worn, but I don't think we have the sort of problem in this country that would require a ban," Abbott said.

Gillard agreed that the "sight of the burqa on our streets is confronting".

"But I also believe that in a free country, a wonderful democracy like this one, people should be able to be absolutely free to choose what they want to wear," she added.

French ban


In July, France banned face-covering veils in public places. Lawmakers in the Australian state of New South Wales rejected a similar bid by a Christian party in May.

Muslims make up about 1.7% of Australia's predominantly Christian population of 22 million, and religious tensions have run high in recent years including race riots at a Sydney beach in December 2005.
Read more on:    austrailia  |  religion
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Africa: Land of Billionaires!

Find out who are the richest of the richest in Africa!

 
 

Men24.com

Best bro movies 2014
Every man should be able to do these three things
Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!
Hottie of the day: Jesselyn

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Hot festive offers at kalahari.com!

Hurry! Stocks are limited. Don’t miss out. Shop Now!

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Grandiose ideas and plans can trip you up today. Keep things in context and take one step at a time....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.