DETROIT (WJBK) - A Federal judge has ruled that a doctor and wife will remain in custody under they go to trial on charges of female genital mutilation of young girls.
Doctor Fakruddin Attar and his wife, Farida Attar, are both accused of helping and allowing Doctor Jumana Nargarwala perform Female Genital Mutilation on young girls. Investigators say Nargarwala performed the illegal procedure at the Burhani Clinic in Livonia which is owned by Doctor Attar. where his wife also worked as an office manager.
Christie Otter and her husband say Doctor Attar served as their physician for past 11 years, and it's hard to believe the allegations based on the man they know, but came to court to show their support.
"Being a feminist, I certainly do not in anyway support those procedures, but I had a kind doctor I've lost," Christie said.
Her husband echoed those sentiments.
"We're conflicted. There are two sides to this issue. Whether he's guilty or whether he's innocent, he is innocent until he's proven guilty,' Luis Otter said.
During the two detention hearings on Wednesday, the defense and federal prosecutor went back and forth on evidence in court, including surveillance footage putting the husband and wife at the clinic on February 3rd when two 7 year old girls from Minnesota, brought to Michigan by their parents, had the procedure performed on them.
However, the defense argues the footage is not clear enough to identify the people in the video walking in and out of the clinic. The defense attorney also says there is a witness and debit card transactions that can place Doctor Attar at a bookstore during that same time.
In the end, the judge felt based on the allegations and charges, the doctor and his wife would be a flight risk and a danger to the community.
"They probably hit too hard for me his being a flight risk. I feel that would never had happened. The fact they are detained is troubling to me," Christie said. "I do not feel they are a danger to the community."
Dr. Attar is accused of allowing Dr, Nargarwala to use his medical facility after business hours, and his wife helped with the procedure. Federal Investigators believe Nargarwala may have been performing FGM since 2005 until this spring when she was arrested.
The defense and prosecutors went back and forth talking phone records and surveillance at other locations but nothing was decided regarding that evidence. A lot more is expected to come out in future hearings.
It was also announced in court that examinations performed on the Minnesota girls has confirmed that FGm was performed on them.
Other examinations are currently being done on possible Michigan victims.