Solicitor joins eight on female genital mutilation charges

A SOLICITOR has joined eight others accused of covering up a culture of female genital mutilation in Sydney's west.

The 46-year-old was arrested at his Strathfield office by sex crime detectives investigating the illegal circumcision of two sisters, aged six and seven, at Burwood.

He was charged with an act with the intent of perverting the course of justice.

Police allege he encouraged locals to lie about the prevalence of female circumcision in their community.

Eight people, including a doctor, Muslim sheik, retired nurse and female members of the girls' families, were arrested over the past 12 months.

All nine accused will front court on August 8.

Detectives are continuing to work with NSW Health and community services to identify other cases.

Female genital mutilation is illegal in Australia and can carry a prison term of up to seven years.

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