- The Washington Times - Friday, June 2, 2017

Alan Dershowitz will use his legal expertise to aid the defense team of Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, the Detroit lawyer accused of practicing female genital mutilation.

Department of Justice lawyers attempting to prosecute Dr. Nagarwala, 52, under a 1996 law prohibiting FGM must content with one of the nation’s most famous legal minds. Dawat-e-Hadiyah, an international religious group that oversees Shia mosques, recruited Mr. Dershowitz along with defense attorney Mayer Morganroth three weeks ago.

“They hired us to protect the people charged and represent the religious organization,” Mr. Morganroth told The Detroit News on Thursday. “I’m sure Alan will show up. … [This is] no more than the Vatican would be exposed to something done in a local church.”

Federal prosecutors say the bodily damage inflicted on two 7-year-old girls transported from Minnesota to Michigan in February suggests otherwise. The case is said to be the first brought against a U.S. citizen since the law was passed.

“Female genital mutilation constitutes a particularly brutal form of violence against women and girls,” acting U.S. Attorney in Detroit Daniel Lemisch said in a statement released April 13. “The practice has no place in modern society and those who perform FGM on minors will be held accountable under federal law.”

Two others facing prosecution include Dr. Fakhruddin Attar and his wife, Farida Attar. The procedures are said to have occurred at his Livonia clinic.

All three are individuals are being held without bond pending an Oct. 10 trial in federal court, Detroit News reported.

The Henry Ford Health System, which has placed Dr. Nagarwala on administrative leave, was not mentioned in the complaint.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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