May 24, 2014
Sydney sheik, mum and nurse to face mutilation judgmentA SYDNEY mother stood in the dock holding her baby daughter as she became the first person in the state to be committed to stand trial for genital mutilation.
The mother, who can’t be named, and retired nurse Kubra Magennis became the first people in NSW to stand trial for female genital mutilation, accused in Parramatta Local Court yesterday of performing the circumcision ritual on the mother’s daughters, aged 6 and 7. The pair face a maximum sentence of seven years in jail if convicted.
Sheik Shabbir Vaziri is charged with being an accessory to the circumcision ritual, allegedly telling locals to lie to police about the prevalence of female genital mutilation in the community.
The alleged circumcisions took place in Wollongong and Sydney some time between October 2010 and July 2012.
Defence lawyers unsuccessfully tried to argue the girls were not victims of female genital mutilation because they only received a nick to their clitoris.
Magistrate Roger Brown dismissed the submission, saying: “Any cut or nick to the clitoris will amount to mutilation.”
The prosecution will largely rely on a police interview and a phone intercept between the mother and Ms Magennis.
The girls’ father, a GP, and four other female relatives, who can’t be named to protect the girls, were also charged over the circumcision but their charges were dismissed at earlier court appearances.
A lawyer has been committed to stand trial with perverting the course of justice over the ritual circumcisions.
A date for the trial of Sheik Vaziri, Ms Magennis and the girls’ mother will be set on June 20.