‘I can imprison you,’ judge tells church man

Source: Waikato Times
Publication date: 2002-08-07
Arrival time: 2002-08-08
http://– BROKEN URL yellowbrix.com -/pages/newsreal/Story.nsp?story_id=32033849

A Jehovah’s Witness elder has been told he could go to jail for not giving evidence against a former member of his church facing rape and sexual assault charges.

A 35-year-old Hamilton man has denied charges of raping and sexually abusing his wife over nine years.

Giving evidence at the trial in the Hamilton District Court, Frederick Marriner, an elder in the Jehovah’s Witness church, refused to say what the accused told him about his relationship with his wife.

“I’m a minister of a religion and with respect to the court and the judge I really feel I don’t want to discuss that because I feel it was given in confidence . . . and what if I wasn’t to answer that?,” he said to Judge Robert Wolff.

The judge told him: “One of the consequences may be that I can imprison you.”

Mr Marriner is seeking legal counsel on the matter.

Several people involved in the Jehovah’s Witness church gave evidence against the accused yesterday.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Sunday August 11, 2002.
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