FIVE people are to stand trial for their part in an alleged sham marriage which was due to take place in Banbridge Civic Buildings in July.
All five appeared at a preliminary enquiry last Thursday at the town’s Magistrates Court. A prosecutor for the PPS told Judge Kennedy that on the basis of the papers before the court there was a primae facie case to answer.
In the dock was Latvian bride, 18-year-old Innes Millere and the Pakistani groom, 27-year-old Ansar Mahmood who were arrested by officers from the UK Border Agency as they were due to take part in the suspected fake wedding at Banbridge Register Office.
Harron Nawab, 24, also from Pakistan was due to be the best man.
The three defendants who were assisted in court by interpreters, are charged with assisting unlawful immigration for the purposes of a sham wedding.
The fourth defendant, Pakistani Asif Nadeem, is charged with seeking to remain in the UK by deception.
Another Latvian woman, Jekaterina Dolgu, who was to be the bridesmaid is accused of unlawful immigration and agreeing to be a witness at the planned sham marriage.
All five defendants said they understood the charges they were facing.
The two women along with Nawab were released on continuing bail to appear again on 9 December at Newry Crown Court, while Nadeem and Mahmood were remanded in custody to Maghaberry.