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Men will not face charges over allegations of female genital mutilation

20/09/2012

The Crown Prosecution Service has decided that no charges will be brought against two men arrested in Birmingham on suspicion of offences contrary to the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003.

Harry Ireland, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the West Midlands Area, said: "I have advised West Midlands Police to release two men from police bail over allegations concerning female genital mutilation.

"Doctor Ali Haji Mao-Aweys and Doctor Omar Sheikh Mohamed Addow were arrested in May following a newspaper report in which it was alleged they were willing to carry out genital mutilation on two young girls after being approached by a woman posing as the girls' aunt, but who was actually working as an undercover journalist or agent of some sort.

"Having carefully reviewed the evidence obtained by the police, I have decided there should be no further action against either of these two men. The case has been reviewed according to the Code for Crown Prosecutors and there is insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction.

"The main evidence in this case is from the undercover journalist or agent but she has consistently failed to sign her draft statement for the police despite being given every opportunity to do so over the past five months.

"I also have concerns over discrepancies between her draft statement and the evidence from the covert recordings. For example, at one stage, the covert recordings record the doctors refusing to help the woman with her request.

"I am also troubled by the fact that the covert recordings disclose a time gap which is insufficiently accounted for when the undercover journalist or agent apparently went with one of the doctor's from the surgery to his home. Unless there is a very compelling explanation for this, the covert evidence is very unlikely to be admissible in evidence. That explanation has not been forthcoming.

"A search of the suspects' homes, computers and phones failed to provide any evidence that they were involved in any way in this illegal practice. A financial investigation has also found no evidence of suspicious transactions which might then merit further investigation.

"We have a duty to release suspects from bail if the evidence is not there to merit a prosecution, which is why I have advised the police in this case to do that today."

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