Man ‘raped 14-year-old child bride after illegal ceremony’

Mohammed Shakir, 34, from Melbourne, is accused of having sex with the girl in 2016

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The Independent Online

A girl was allegedly raped after being forced into a marriage aged only 14, a court has heard. 

Mohammed Shakir, 34, from Melbourne, is accused of having sex with the girl in 2016, following their wedding, which was conducted by ex-imam Ibrahim Omerdic, 61, who also faces charges related to the marriage.

The girl, who has not been named, has “ongoing health issues” and is currently in a “fragile state”, prosecutor Ranjani Padmanabhan told Melbourne Magistrates Court. 

Mr Shakir was informed the girl’s parents would give evidence at his hearing and he appeared in court via video link, the Daily Mail reported. 

Mr Omerdic, who is the former imam at the Bosnian Islamic Society and Noble Park Mosque, has been sacked and had his marriage celebrant licence revoked. 

“A new Imam has been appointed. Omerdic is no longer the Imam of the Noble Park Mosque and has no role with the Society,” Noble Park Mosque said in a statement.

The Islamic Council of Victoria condemned underage marriages and said despite it being permitted elsewhere it was 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,” it said. 

Mr Omerdic is on bail while Mr Shakir is currently in custody. The hearing is scheduled for April.