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In Brief: Man denies weapon charge

A YOUNG man allegedly caught by gardai with a gas gun denied it is a weapon.

Dale Leeper (20) plans to call an expert witness who will testify that the gas gun is not a firearm, a court heard.

Judge Anthony Halpin adjourned the matter for hearing to a date in May.

Leeper, of Whiteacre Crescent in Ballymun, appeared before Blanchardstown District Court charged with possession of a gas gun firearm, which was not authorised by a firearms certificate.

The alleged incident took place at Cappagh Drive in Finglas on December 19, 2010.

Mairead White, defending, said Leeper will be claiming the gas gun is not a firearm under the Firearms Act.

Australia has new veil laws

MUSLIM women in Australia's most populous state will have to remove veils to have their signatures officially witnessed.

New South Wales state Attorney General Greg Smith said that from April 30, officials who witness statutory declarations or affidavits without making ID checks will be fined AUS$220 (¤178).

"If a person is wearing a face covering, an authorised witness should politely and respectfully ask them to show their face," Smith said.

The laws are a response to a court case last year in which a Sydney woman was convicted of falsely claiming that a policeman had tried to remove her veil.

A judge overturned the conviction because the official who witnessed the false claim did not look under the veil of the person who made it, so the judge was not certain that the defendant was responsible.