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News Link • Criminal Justice System

Muslim woman will not testify after being told she must remove face veil

•, Press Association
 A Muslim woman standing trial in a full-face veil, who was told she must remove it if she gives evidence in her defence, will not take to the witness box, a court has heard.

Rebekah Dawson, 22, has been allowed to appear at her trial for alleged witness intimidation in a niqab showing just her eyes.

The trial judge, Peter Murphy, ruled last September that she could wear the Islamic garment in court but he said she would have to let the jury of five women and seven men see her face if she gave evidence.

Her barrister, Susan Meek, told the jury at Blackfriars crown court in London on Monday that she would not be giving evidence in her own defence.

Murphy had asked Meek whether she had told her client that the jury would be free to "draw such inferences as might be proper" from a decision not to give evidence.

Meek said she had.

"Does she intend to give evidence?" he asked.

"No," Meek replied.

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