‘I did not know his bride was Polish’

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The brother of a man who took part in a sham marriage only found out the bride was Polish a few days before the ceremony, a court heard.

Saeed Akhtar is accused of being involved in the fake wedding of his younger brother Nahid Chaudhray at Calderdale Register Office earlier this year, but the 34-year-old told a jury that he was only told the bride was Polish a few days earlier.

Akhtar, of Hammond Street, Halifax, admitted being surprised, but said his brother told him he had authorisation from the Home Office for the wedding.

‘’I did not have a long conversation with him but I did mention that it did not look nice,’’ said Akhtar.

‘’Did it occur to you then that this might not be a genuine marriage,’’ asked prosecutor Katherine Robinson.

‘’I did not think that,’’ said Akhtar.

‘’I thought maybe the time he’s spent in this country he might have established a relationship.’’

Akhtar insisted that he did not have a good relationship with his younger brother and maintained that because Chaudhray was living with his older brother Jam Roze it was his older brother’s responsibility.

Bradford Crown Court heard that Akhtar was asked by Roze to use his camcorder to take pictures outside the register office on the day of the intended wedding and Akhtar had possession of Chaudhray’s passport, wallet and two rings when police swooped shortly before the ceremony was due to start in March.

Bride-to-be Ewelina Piotrowska, 23, of Shepley Street, Wakefield and Chaudhray, 31, have admitted being part of a conspiracy to breach immigration laws so that the Pakistani national could obtain a right to remain in this country.

Roze, 43, of Cedar Street, Halifax, also admitted his part in the scam earlier this week.

Father-of-two Akhtar and two other men, 34-year-old Kamran Qamar, of Westfield Place, Halifax, and 42-year-old Mohammed Akhtar, of Darnoy Street, Wakefield, all deny the same conspiracy allegation.