A 34-year-old Australian man has been charged to court for allegedly having sex with his 14-year-old bride in 2016.
The couple got married in an illegal wedding conducted by Ibrahim Omerdic, an ex-imam who is also facing trial for “blessing” the unholy marriage.
Mohammed Shakir, 34, allegedly forced the underage girl into accepting his hand in marriage, the court heard.
According to a report from The Independent, prosecutor Ranjani Padmanabhan told Melbourne Magistrates Court that the bride suffered serious health issues as a “submissive wife,” and is currently receiving emergency treatment.
Image shows the ex-imam Ibrahim Omerdic.
Mr. Omerdic taught as an imam at the Bosnian Islamic Society and Noble Park Mosque. He has been sacked from the institution and had his marriage celebrant licence revoked by the authorities.
Noble Park Mosque said in a statement: “A new Imam has been appointed. Omerdic is no longer the Imam of the Noble Park Mosque and has no role with the Society.”
The girl’s name has been withheld for security reasons.
Mr. Shakir was notified that his parents-in-law would provide the court with evidence during his trial. He appeared in court via video link and cried all through the hearing.
The Islamic Council of Victoria also disassociated itself from child marriages and said underage brides may be allowed in some cultures but highlighted that “it’s not acceptable in Australia.”
“It is true that marriage at a younger age is permitted in other countries and cultures, but this is not a justification for marriage below the legal age or child marriages here in Australia,” the ICV said.
“As Australian Muslims we are required to observe and respect the laws of Australia.”
A date for court hearing has been set for April, 2017.
A trial date has been set for the suspects; Mr Omerdic, who is currently on bail, and Mr. Shakir, who has been remanded in prison custody.