Judge removed for making fun of sheik

Nov. 16, 2007 at 1:29 AM
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LONDON, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- A British judge who made fun of a Saudi sheik involved in a divorce has been ordered to remove himself from the case.

Sheik Khalid Ben Abdfullah Rashid Alfawaz asked the Family Division to take Justice Peter Singer off the case on the grounds that he had clearly shown bias, Sky News reported.

The sheik is not one of the parties to the divorce, sought by Wendy Ann El Farargy from her husband Nael Mahmoud El Farargy. He has become involved because he has a financial interest in the outcome.

Singer, at a private hearing, told the sheik he could "depart on his flying carpet." The sheik said Singer also belittled his religion, telling him he should be able to be in court "at this I think relatively fast-free time of the year."

When Singer refused to recuse himself, the sheik appealed. A Court of Appeal judge found that the case had become a "singularly unsatisfactory, unfortunate and embarrassing matter."

Singer issued an apology, describing his words as "poorly chosen."

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