I'm not sure which way I really swing on the issue of Muslim women being forced to reveal their faces whle giving evidence. On the one hand, yes, the defence must be able to effectively challenge the prosecution's witnesses, and part of this involves assessing their demeanour to see whether they're lying. And on the other hand, given the strong prohibition on women revealing their faces in some Muslim clades, this is the equivalent to asking a western woman to appear topless - intrusive and humiliating, and likely to affect people's willingness to testify. And the fact that this is exactly why the defence was doing it - as a form of witness intimidation - leaves a very nasty taste in my mouth.
The judge at least has ruled that the women can be protected from public view by screens, which is entirely reasonable, and according to TV3 News at least one of the women is happy with the decision. If she can live with it, I think we all can.