The Muslim woman at the centre of a debate about whether she can wear a burqa in the courtroom has been told by a Perth judge that she must remove it while giving evidence in a fraud trial.
District Court Judge Shauna Deane handed down her decision today (19 August), though emphasised that the ruling only applies to the case in question and does not set a general precedent.
The 36-year-old witness, known only as Tasneem, has worn the burqa for almost 20 years and wants to wear it whilst giving evidence against Anwar Sayed, the former director of an Islamic College where she teaches.
Sayed has been accused of fraudulently obtaining $752,000 in state and federal grants by falsifying the number of enrolments for the Muslim Ladies College of Australia in Kenwick, south of Perth, in 2006.
Sayed's defence lawyers had previously raised concerns about how the jury could possibly be expected to decipher the woman's facial expressions - and make decisions about her credibility - if they were unable to see her face.
>> Read previous coverage: Decision expected on burqa