UK

Lawyer told Muslim woman to ‘return to Afghanistan to educate the Taliban’, tribunal hears

Lawyer, 61, told Muslim woman to ‘return to Afghanistan to educate the Taliban on terrorism’ at a function and asked other women if their partners ‘paid towards their lifestyle’, tribunal hears

  • Victor Stockinger denies making racially or religiously motivated statements
  • He allegedly asked women if their male partners ‘paid towards their lifestyle’
  • He also denies giving the SRA false or misleading information

A solicitor told a Muslim woman she could ‘return to Afghanistan to educate the Taliban on terrorism’ at a function, a tribunal was told.

Victor Stockinger, 61, allegedly made a series of ‘racially, ethically, and religiously motivated’ remarks at the event held at the High Court in 2019.

The New Zealand-born lawyer had asked several women at the event if their male partners ‘paid towards their lifestyle’, the Solicitors’ Disiplinary Tribunal heard. 

He had allegedly said at the function held by the the Solicitors’ Association of High Court Advocates: ‘The definition of a successful woman is on that can afford to spend anything she likes, the definition of a successful man is one who can afford such a woman.’

Stockinger also told a solicitor from Zaire that her French must be worse than her Gujarati and Hindi due to her Asian heritage, it was said.

Nimue Bruce, for the SRA, said: ‘In 2019 at a function that took place at the High Court by the Solicitors’ Association of High Court Advocates, Mr Stockinger made a series of remarks which were racially, ethically, and religiously motivated.

Stockinger allegedly made the remarks at the event held at the High Court in 2019

‘One of the complainants is a Muslim woman from Afghanistan.

‘Following introductions being made, Mr Stockinger asked where she was from and what languages she spoke.

‘She said Dari/Farsi in response. Mr Stockinger said she was wrong, in fact she spoke Tajik.

‘He then said she was wasting her time working in the field of human rights and she could return to Afghanistan to educate the Taliban on terrorism.

‘Another woman reported Mr Stockinger asking if she had any interest in genetics, and that she must have Irish or Celtic ancestry.’

The woman responded that she had 93 percent Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry according to a genetic test, the tribunal heard.

Ms Bruce continued: ‘Mr Stockinger says: ”So you think you’re Jewish?”

‘She says: ”I don’t think I’m Jewish, I know I’m Jewish.”

‘Mr Stockinger responded: ”So you’re playing the religion or race card.” ‘

Mr Stockinger allegedly told other attendees at the event that ‘Africans can never get it right’ and that the ‘Belgians made the Congo civil’, the tribunal heard.  

He denies giving the Solicitors Regulation Authority false or misleading information while he was being investigated for misconduct.

Stockinger, of Bloomsbury, central London, denies making racially, ethnically, or religiously motivated statements, and failing to comply with an SRA investigation.

The sole practitioner, admitted to the profession in 1990, also denies failing to comply with orders ‘made in proceedings requiring him to make costs payments to other parties’.

The tribunal continues.

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