Tuesday, September 17, 2013

British Judge Says Muslim Woman Must Remove Full-Face Veil For Her Testimony, But With Accommodations

In a widely followed case in Britain, a trial court judge who allowed a Muslim woman charged with witness intimidation to keep her face fully covered by her niqab at her arraignment (see prior posting) has now ruled that she must uncover her face when giving evidence during her trial.  The Guardian reported yesterday that under a compromise arrangement, the woman will be able to testify behind a screen or by live video link where only the judge, counsel and jurors can see her face, but court spectators will not. This will allow jurors to assess her demeanor.  The court also ordered that there be no artist's sketch of the woman with her face uncovered, and ruled that the woman, who will be identified only by her initial, can keep her face covered during the rest of the trial.