Man on sham wedding charge ‘involved in another ceremony’

Belfast High Court

Belfast High Court

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A Cameroonian man accused of taking part in a sham marriage had allegedly been involved in a previous fake wedding, the High Court heard yesterday.

Elvis Asaah, 30, was acting as a witness at the ceremony halted in Co Down last December, prosecutors said.

A judge was told he is also now being linked to a previous bogus wedding held in Scotland in July 2013.

Asaah, with an address at Rodgerson Close, Cardiff, faces a charge of assisting unlawful immigration.

He was detained along with the groom and the French bride-to-be at Newtownards Registry Office.

During a bail application yesterday prosecution counsel Philip Henry claimed Asaah was also planning a further sham marriage at the time of his arrest.

Rejecting any attempt to downplay the significance of the accused’s alleged role, he added: “He was flown in for the purpose of providing his services as a fraudulent witness. He was a key component.”

Asaah moved to Wales on a visa to continue his studies after gaining a degree in his native country, the court heard.

Defence barrister Sean Doherty insisted his client has not been charged over any other incident.

He accepted, however, that Asaah was unlikely to be allowed to remain in the UK once his case is dealt with.

“This is a man who is resigned to his fate,” Mr Doherty said.

Asaah was granted bail on condition he surrenders his passport and puts up a £1,000 surety.