The Muslim wife of a convicted terrorist recruiter, Moutia Elzahed, has said every time she goes to bed she’s terrified she will wake up and the police will be beating her.
Daily Mail (h/t Sara S) In an emotional affidavit tendered to a court this week, Moutia Elzahed claimed she was punched in the head and was told ‘shut up bitch’ during September 2014 Muslim terror raids on her Sydney home.
‘I do not sleep well, I jump at every noise, I get scared easily and sleep in bed with my headbag on now,’ she said. ‘Every time I think about what happened to me, I get very upset and cry again’.
The burqa-wearing Revesby woman lost her bid to sue police over her claims late last year after a judge refused to let her testify unless she showed her face. She was later ordered to pay up $250,000 in legal costs.
Moutia Elzahed appeared in an Australian court after she, her husband — convicted ISIS recruiter Hamdi Alqudsi (below) — and their two children, sued the Commonwealth of Australia for assault that allegedly occurred during a counterterrorism raid in 2014.
Judge Audrey Balla said she would consider each time Elzahed refused to stand as a separate count of disrespecting the court. The judge also said she would not hear the woman’s testimony if she were wearing a full face veil. The new law of disrespecting the court went into effect in Australia in September, and each count carries a maximum 14-day jail sentence and a $1,000 fine.
The judge’s response to her quickly went viral:
“Lock her up for contempt and all that covering will be removed during lock up then she can come back to court in an orange jump suit.”
“Lock her up in solitary. Let’s be kind and feed her normal jail food. No special halal food. It’s her choice as to if she eats or not. Let her sit till she plans to follow the laws. We got to get this through there heads that they have to follow the laws of the land.”
But on Thursday a Sydney court granted the mother-of-two leave to appeal – with her lawyer arguing she should have been able to testify without men seeing her face. Last November, District Court Judge Audrey Balla ruled she couldn’t assess Ms Elzahed’s credibility or reliability as a witness without seeing her face.
Judge Balla offered Ms Elzahed the chance to give evidence remotely – and also to close the court to everyone except lawyers – but she declined.The judge eventually found police had used ‘reasonable force’ in their interactions with Ms Elzahed during the Operation Appleby raids. Her attorney suggested that Elzahed could testify behind a screen so ‘her face would be seen by the judge alone’.
She has also been hit with nine charges of disrespecting a court after she allegedly refused to stand for Judge Balla, claiming she ‘only stands for Allah’.