01 December 2016

Judge refuses testimony from woman in veil

A Sydney judge has denied a Muslim woman the chance to give evidence in court because she would not remove her traditional religious veil.

New South Wales District Court judge Audrey Balla would not allow Moutia Elzahed into the witness box in a civil case because she would not take off her veil, News Corp reported.

Ms Elzahed’s lawyer told Judge Balla that his client was not allowed to reveal her face to any man outside of her family for religious reasons.

Judge Balla indicated she would make allowances for the court to be closed while she gave evidence, or that Ms Elzahed could go to another room and appear via video link, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Both options were declined because both sides mostly male legal teams would be able to see Ms Elzahed’s face in those situations.

Ms Elzahed is married to Hamdi Alqudsi who has been convicted of aiding seven men travel to Syria to fight for Islamic State. He was jailed for six years in September. [The New Daily] Read more