- July 20, 2011 at 12:51 am #3883rickshaw92Participant
Four men allegedly broke into a western Sydney home to whip a man as punishment under religious law for drinking alcohol, a court has been told.
Two men have been charged by police over the incident. One faced court on Tuesday before being granted bail under strict conditions.
The assault has raised community concerns about the application of sharia, or Islamic law, by some people of Islamic faith in NSW, with the state’s Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione saying there is no place for it in Australia.
In Burwood Local Court, police prosector George Lolis opposed bail for Tolga Cifci, 20, saying he had justified his role in the attack with a “particularised usage of religious law”.
The alleged victim, 31, was asleep in his home in Silverwater in the early hours of Sunday morning when he woke to see four men in his bedroom.
Lolis said police would allege Cifci and three others broke into the victim’s unit and restrained him before he was lashed 40 times with a cable.
Lolis also told the court while Cifci was not accused of taking part in the lashing attack, he had shown “a complete and utter disregard for the laws of this state”.
He said the victim was targeted for “doing what many in the community do all the time” – a reference to drinking alcohol.
But Cifci viewed it as “something against Islam”.
The court heard the alleged crimes were “extremely serious and violent” and carried a maximum jail sentence of 20 years.
Magistrate Tim Keddy said the police allegations against Cifci, of Auburn, were of “significant seriousness”.
“The prosecution case at this stage would appear to be a strong one,” he said.
“The conduct (of Cifci) was particular to this victim and for religious reasons.”
Cifci was granted strict bail on charges of aggravated break and enter and committing a serious indictable offence, inflicting actual bodily harm.
His solicitor, Tunc Ozen, told the court his client was willing to agree to the strict terms and that his prior good record and strong family ties meant it was unlikely he would re-offend or flee the country.
“These conditions are, in one sense, over the top,” Mr Ozen said.
He said there was absolutely no prior link between Cifci and the victim “other than one of religious belief”.
Keddy ordered Cifci to remain at home between 8pm and 7am and not to leave the residence without his mother or father.
Cifci is not to approach the alleged victim, must surrender his passport and cannot visit airports or other points of departure from Australia.
On Tuesday afternoon, police charged a second man, 43, with a number of offences, including aggravated break and enter with intent to commit an indictable offence.
He will face Burwood Local Court on Wednesday.
Cifci’s matter has been adjourned for mention on September 14 at the same court.
- July 22, 2011 at 5:06 am #13155ROBKeymaster
That’s western sydney for you, mate.
I try to avoid the place. ;)
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