Australian judge considers allowing burka in court

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
August 5, 2010 11:18

A Muslim witness in an Australian fraud trial has requested permission to wear an all-covering burka in court, in a case that has sparked nationwide interest and comments from campaigning politicians.

District Court Judge Shauna Deane heard submissions Thursday from lawyers on both sides about whether the 36-year-old woman should be allowed to wear a burka while giving evidence.

The woman is a prosecution witness in the case against the director of a company that ran a Muslim women's college who is accused of inflating student numbers to claim extra grant money.

Defense lawyers raised concerns that the jury would not be able to read the woman's facial expressions if she is veiled, therefore making it difficult to assess her testimony.


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