Jury Finds Three Accused Guilty In Australia’s First FGM Case

Thursday 19 November 2015 @ 11.52 a.m. | Crime

A jury has found three people guilty for their involvement in the female genital mutilation (FGM) of two girls.  The case was reported by the Guardian Australia to be Australia’s first prosecution of an FGM case.  The trial took nine weeks and involved a number of pre-trial applications dealing with procedural and evidentiary questions.  Following the jury’s verdict, Justice Peter Johnson of the NSW Supreme Court granted bail to all three applicants in R v A2; R v KM; R v Vaziri (No. 19) [2015] NSWSC 1700.   The sentencing process is scheduled to begin on 5 February 2016.

The Trial

The people on trial were the girls’ mother (known as A2 in the case), a retired midwife accused of conducting the operation (known as KM) and Mr Vaziri, the head of the Dawoodi Bohra community that the first two people belonged to.  A2 and KM were each charged with counts of mutilating the two girls’ clitorises contrary to section 45(1)(a) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).  Mr Vaziri was charged with being an accessory after the fact to the offences. 

The Crown case against the accused included testimony by the girls, medical evidence and evidence from telephone intercepts and other surveillance devices.

One juror was discharged partway through the trial after experiencing persistent illness and the trial was completed with 11 jurors.

Remarks on Bail

In his bail judgment, Johnson J noted that the maximum penalty for the offences under section 45 was seven years’ imprisonment, as the Crimes Amendment (Female Genital Mutilation) Act 2014 (NSW), which increased the maximum penalty to twenty-one years’ imprisonment, commenced after the commission of the offences.

The Crown opposed granting bail to the accused, saying that custodial sentences were “inevitable” and raising concerns about flight risks.

While His Honour agreed that the offences were “on the face of it, serious” offences [at 13], he found that there was no unacceptable risks present.  Instead, he required the three accused to surrender their passports and comply with reporting requirements.  He also required Mr Vaziri, who is not an Australian citizen, to provide $10,000 in surety.

For more background on Australia’s female genital mutilation laws, see TimeBase’s earlier article.

TimeBase is an independent, privately owned Australian legal publisher specialising in the online delivery of accurate, comprehensive and innovative legislation research tools including LawOne and unique Point-in-Time Products.


FGM: mother and retired nurse both found guilty of mutilating two sisters (Bridie Jabour, The Guardian Australia, 12/11/2015)

R v A2; R v KM; R v Vaziri (No. 2) [2015] NSWSC 1221 (27 August 2015)

R v A2; R v KM; R v Vaziri (No. 17) [2015] NSWSC 1601 (27 October 2015)

R v A2; R v KM; R v Vaziri (No. 19) [2015] NSWSC 1700 (12 November 2015)

Related Articles: