Great that he finally saw the light, but the dangerous thing here, is that he issued the ruling in the first place.
Judge Hughes accepted the argument and banned reporting of the case but then changed his mind after a two-day legal battle with the Mail. ‘We are dealing with members of the legal profession charged with perverting the course of justice,’ he said.
‘People of all faiths or no faiths should be treated in precisely the same way. We’re not dealing with discrimination against. We’re dealing with discrimination for.’
Reporting of Muslim lawyers’ trial banned ‘for cultural reasons’: Judge’s gagging order lifted after appeal by the Daily Mail
- Reporting the case of Asha Khan, 30, and Kashif Khan, 34, was banned
- The order was made to prevent them being shamed in their community
- But after a legal challenge from the Daily Mail, the restrictions were lifted
- Asha Khan was found guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice
- She and Kashif were said to be involved in a plot to switch speeding points
- But Kashif, Asha’s brother, was acquitted after arguing he did not know
By ELEANOR HARDING
PUBLISHED: 23:47 GMT, 29 December 2013 | UPDATED: 23:47 GMT, 29 December 2013
Guilty: Asha Khan has been convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice
A judge allowed two Muslim solicitors accused of trying to cheat the legal system to hide behind a cloak of secrecy for ‘cultural reasons’, the Daily Mail can disclose.
He banned reporting of the case of Asha Khan, 30, and her brother Kashif, 34, to prevent them allegedly being shamed in the eyes of their community.
In the latest farce involving secret justice, the pair were told they could enjoy the court’s protection because members of their family would pass judgment if the case was reported.
It is a privilege rarely bestowed on defendants in the justice system, which has operated on the principle of transparency for centuries. However, following a challenge by the Daily Mail, the restriction was lifted – enabling the case to be reported.
Judge Peter Hughes reversed his original ban after deciding that the principle of open justice was more important than saving the embarrassment of a defendant.
After almost a year of court appearances and legal argument, Miss Khan has been convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice, while her brother was acquitted of the charge.
They were on trial accused of helping their father, Mohammed, dodge a speeding fine by pretending he was not driving at the time of the offence.
In a saga with echoes of the Chris Huhne scandal, he allowed a man who worked for the family to take the blame instead.
At the beginning of the hearings, Miss Khan’s barrister, Glenn Gatland, argued she would not give evidence properly in the presence of the Press because she was afraid of family repercussions.
He said she did not want to criticise her father in public – though she was quite happy to have her mother sit in the public gallery.
‘Miss Khan is quite upset that if matters are reported she doesn’t feel she would be able to give her evidence as freely as she would have done otherwise,’ said Mr Gatland. ‘Culturally, it’s very difficult for them to say things in public. The evidence would be impacted on by the cultural background of Miss Khan.’