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Gay victims to face charges of breaching public peace after attackers file police report

Women assaulted by violent brothers in Hamrun to face charges this Friday after attackers file police report against them.

Karl Stagno-Navarra
13 February 2012, 12:00am
The victims of a hate attack will face charges of breaching public peace after their attackers filed a police report against them.
The two gay women attacked in Hamrun are expected to charged with breaching the public peace and making obscene gestures at their attackers, according to a police writ presented in the law courts.

The teenagers, whose assault by two men in Hamrun precipitated a protest against homophobia and an announcement by the Prime Minister to strengthen laws against homophobic violence, will be charged after their attackers filed a police report against them.

Their case will be heard alongside the police charges against brothers Luke and Carlo Debono, and another attacker Mary Aquilina, for having assaulted the two friends and breaching the public peace.

The two women were dancing in a gazebo at the Fra Diegu square in Hamrun, when the two brothers started insulting them from the top of a nearby balcony. When the girls retaliated by shouting back at the boys, the two turned up and assaulted the women.

One of the girls was reported by The Times of having been manhandled before being head-butted, her hair pulled and dragged across the ground. One of the women ended up in a clinic with a fractured nose, a grazed face and bruises on her breasts.

The attackers cannot be charged with committing a hate crime because homophobia is not covered by law.

Following the sacking of an Arriva bus driver on 6 February assaulting two women in what the transport company said seemed to be a homophobic act, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi announced he had instructed justice minister Chris Said to tighten hate crime laws.

Ken Cowan
It is not surprising that these shameless Debono brothers (finally named!!)are making counter charges. This is called "adding insult to injury". Pathetic. Let's hope that justice prevails, that the judges thrown out their charges and give them sentences to the full extent of the law for their aggressive and criminal attack. Strangely, I sent in a similar comment yesterday... and yet the paper states that there are zero comments. Unlikely. It suggests that the paper is banning comments on this story... what is going on behind the scenes that we don't know about? It took 5 days and media coverage before the police even tried to arrest the boys... Stranger and stranger.