Secret divorce imam ‘will go to prison’
A former Armley jail imam faces jail for forging his severely disabled wife’s signature to divorce her behind her back.
Khalil Kazi jetted to Morocco a month after the illegal 2005 divorce to secretly marry a second bride under Islamic law.
His paraplegic wife Meimuna believed she was still wed and knew nothing of her husband’s second bride. Prosecutors said Kazi, of Batley Carr, hatched the plot to divorce his wife, who uses a wheelchair, without her knowledge because he wanted to keep access to her £1m compensation from a hospital negligence claim.
A Leeds Crown Court jury of eight men and four women convicted Kazi of perjury and perverting the course of justice after a trial. Judge Scott Wolstenholme freed Kazi on bail until he is sentenced on Friday.
But Judge Wolstenholme warned him: “It’s inevitable that for offences of this gravity, which strike at the root of the judicial system, a prison sentence is inevitable. How long that will be I don’t know until I have heard from your counsel.”
Imam ‘forged disabled wife’s signature’ so he could secretly divorce her
Mrs Kazi only learned that her marriage to the 39-year-old had been dissolved when she made the initial application for a divorce.
Prosecuting, David Hall said that Kazi, a former imam at Armley jail in Leeds, West Yorkshire, and in Batley Carr, where he lives, had falsified divorce papers and perjured himself by falsely swearing a witness statement for a grant of divorce.
His plot collapsed after four years, when Mrs Kazi visited Dewsbury County Court, West Yorkshire, in March 2006 to apply for a decree of judicial separation.
Giving evidence wearing a veil, wheelchair user Mrs Kazi told Leeds Crown Court how she reacted when she was told there was already a divorce in place.
She said: ‘My solicitor went to speak to Mr Kazi’s solicitor and she came back with the shocking news that I was already divorced. I was very shocked. I trusted my husband and I never expected he would do this to me.’
She added: ‘I felt very guilty he had lived with me for one year living in adultery.
‘He never told me at any time he had divorced me. He never mentioned anything about a divorce.’
Mrs Kazi’s decision to file for a divorce followed her husband’s admission that he had married while in Morocco.