DETROIT, MICH. - Against the wishes of the government, a judge today granted bond to a doctor and his wife as they await trial in a historic genital mutilation case.
The prosecution argued that the defendants should remain locked up, claiming they are both flight risks and a danger to the community given their alleged crimes: Dr. Fakhruddin Attar, 53, of Farmington Hills, is accused of letting another doctor use his clinic to perform genital cutting procedures on two 7-year-old Minnesota girls; his wife, Farida Attar, 50, is accused of holding the girls' hands during the procedure to keep them from squirming and to calm them.
Defense lawyers have claimed the Attars did not engage in any criminal act, and that the procedure at issue is a protected religious rite-of-passage that involved no cutting. They also argued the Attars are not a danger to the society and have no reason or desire to flee, convincing U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman to release them on bond.
Friedman, who stressed that he believes the case involves "serious" charges, issued the following conditions in granting bond to the defendants:
They have to surrender their passports. They will be on house arrest, on GPS tethers, and are not allowed to communicate with anyone except family members or their lawyers. They will only be allowed to leave the home to visit their lawyers or for doctor's visits -- both of which have to be approved first.
"I think he is thrilled," defense attorney Mary Chartier said of her client, Dr. Attar. "He is anxious to fight this case and clear his name."
The Attars will likely not be released from jail until Thursday, when their lawyers surrender their passports to authorities.
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