Story By: James King, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
A respected judge has come under fire after seemingly being amazed that a black man had qualified as a lawyer and repeatedly questioning whether he was actually qualified and even studied.
Hilarry Sedu is an Italian lawyer of Nigerian origin and a counsellor of the Naples Bar Association, but he ended up being judged himself for his skin colour in his last court appearance in the city of Naples, in the south-western Italian region of Campania.
At the Naples Juvenile Court, an honorary judge, who was not named, was clearly sceptical that Sedu could be a lawyer.
When it was his turn to discuss the lawsuit, she asked him for his lawyer’s card and questioned if he had a degree.
Sedu recalls: “As soon as I presented it to her, she looked at me in amazement and asked me if I really was a lawyer.”
According to Sedu, the judge continued with her racist remarks and asked him again: “A lawyer with a degree?”
Sedu said that it was a very grave insult, but he preferred not to react, claiming that he puts the interest of his clients before his own.
The lawyer explained that this was not the first time during his professional practice when he was treated with disrespect because of his skin colour.
Led by racist prejudice, he said many people had shown that they could be insultingly dubious about his position and qualifications.
Sedu said: “I have already had some unpleasant experiences, but until now it has always been enough to show my card.”
He then added: “I have never had someone persevering in asking me about my qualifications.”
According to Sedu, the biggest problem is not even racism but the inadequacy coming from a person whose job is to judge the lives of other people.
Sadu said: “It is not racism, it is only idiocy.”
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