LONDON, (Reuters) – A doctor will be one of two men to be tried in the UK’s first prosecution for female genital mutilation.
Doctor Dhanuson Dharmasena, a registrar at the Whittington hospital, north London, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday charged with one count of an offence contrary to the Genital Mutilation Act 2003.
He will be tried alongside Hasan Mohamed, who faces charges of encouraging an offence of female genital mutilation, when the case is heard at Southwark Crown Court in May.
Mohamed also faces a charge of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring Dharmasena to commit an offence of female genital mutilation.
Both men indicated they would enter not guilty pleas.
Committing the case for a preliminary hearing at Southwark Crown Court on May 2, Deputy Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot said there was no legal precedent for a case of this kind.
“This is the first offence of this type to go through the courts,” she said.