20/09/2012 16:56 BST

FGM In Britain: Two Male Doctors Arrested Over Mutilation Claims Released From Bail Without Charge

Two male doctors arrested by detectives investigating claims that female genital mutilation was being offered in the UK have been released from police bail without charge.

Ali Haji Mao-Aweys, 61, and Omar Sheikh Mohamed Addow, 55, were arrested in Birmingham by West Midlands Police in May, on suspicion of offences contrary to the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003.

Harry Ireland, chief crown prosecutor for the West Midlands area, said: "I have advised West Midlands Police to release two men from police bail over allegations concerning female genital mutilation.


Some of the blunt and dirty tool used to carry out female genital mutilation (FGM) which were surrendered to Afnet, the anti-female genital mutilation network in Dodoma, Tanzania

"Having carefully reviewed the evidence obtained by the police, I have decided thereh should be no further action against either of these two men.

"The case has been reviewed according to the Code for Crown Prosecutors and there is insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction."

West Midlands Police's public protection department launched an investigation after the publication of an article in the Sunday Times on April 22.

Mr Ireland said: "Dr Ali Haji Mao-Aweys and Dr Omar Sheikh Mohamed Addow were arrested in May following a newspaper report in which it was alleged they were willing to carry out genital mutilation on two young girls after being approached by a woman posing as the girls' aunt, but who was actually working as an undercover journalist or agent of some sort.

"The main evidence in this case is from the undercover journalist or agent but she has consistently failed to sign her draft statement for the police despite being given every opportunity to do so over the past five months."

The prosecutor said covert recordings made by the journalist were "very unlikely" to be admissible in court, adding that searches of the doctors' homes found no evidence of illegal practice.

He said: "We have a duty to release suspects from bail if the evidence is not there to merit a prosecution, which is why I have advised the police in this case to do that today."

In August The Huffington Post UK reported senior officers in the Met police had not even discussed how to enforce the law and protect children over the past year.