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Standard procedures followed during arraignment of Marsaxlokk campers – ministry

When police bring accused to courthouse under 48 hours, defendants are bought to court wearing the same clothes during interrogation.

Matthew Vella
14 August 2012, 12:00am
The five men were fined €60 each after pleading guilty to assaulting Marsaxlokk resident Christopher Haber.
Images of the five men accused of assaulting a protestor at the Maghluq area in Marsaxlokk, where demonstrators picketed an illegal camping site, raised the online public's hackles this week: scantily-clad, mocking the press, and soon to be let off with just a €60 fine, there was no shortage of outrage at the leniency with which it seems they were treate

But the ministry for justice has insisted with MaltaToday the courts were not turning a blind eye to an act of contempt.

"A distinction must be made between an accused who is arraigned in Court under arrest and an accused who appears in court following a summons," a spokesperson for minister Chris Said told this newspaper.

"In the former case, the accused is arrested, taken to the Police headquarters, interrogated and, if the police so decide, is then arraigned in court before 48 hours. In such instances the accused is brought to court wearing the same clothes they were wearing when they were picked up by the police for interrogation."

On the other hand, when an accused has been summoned or when the accused is already in prison, then the established dress code sets in as the court deems that the accused had ample time for proper clothing to be provided by their relatives in the case they were in prison.

"The minister is informed that in Monday's case, normal security procedures were adopted by the custodians on duty at the time of the arraignment of the accused to Court - they were not allowed entry into the court room with bottles, and others who were identified by the police as not being the accused were refused entry due to their unacceptable attire," the ministry's spokesperson said.

The five men were fined €60 each after pleading guilty to assaulting Marsaxlokk resident Christopher Haber.

Arriving early at the courthouse on Monday afternoon, the men were left waiting at the front gate: their nonchalance at facing the charges, as they waited out on the courthouse's step, struck readers who later expressed surprise that the courts meted out an insignificant fine.

Anthony Cini, 37 of Fgura, Gerson Orsini, 24, of Vittoriosa, Stephen Debono, 44, of Zabbar, Francis Debono, 69, of Cospicua and Mario Schiavone, 40, of Cospicua, pleaded guilty to breaching the peace and swearing in public.

Schiavone also pleaded guilty to breaching the conditions of a suspended jail term handed down last year for charges related to counterfeit money.

Defence lawyer Chris Cardona asked Haber, who was captured in photos being almost throttled while the others punched him, whether he would forgive them so as to bring about a reduction in punishment.

Haber said he was forgiving them because he feared retribution on his own property, namely a boat in the vicinity of the men's campsite, which he claimed had already been vandalised before.

Schiavone's suspended jail term was extended to two years.

Matthew Vella

After graduating in anthropology he joined MaltaToday...
vincent chircop
hassra li dawn il boxers ma konniex nafu bijhom ,ghax kieku konna nibghatuwhom londra u jirbhu xi midallja ta deheb ta olimpjadi.affarijiet tal misthija.il qorti sar cirklu.
parla piu piano
Dawn affarijiet li jigru biss go PAJJIZ TAN-NEJK.Minn fejn sa fejn biex tuza bajja jew xtajta PUBBLIKA trid tmur tipprotesta ghax xi injoranti egoisti ghogobhom jikkaparraw u jingombra illegalment b'kampijiet. Biex taxxaqha go dan il-PAJJIZ TAN-NEJK biex titnehha illegalita irid ikun ic-cittadin komuni. Inkella labirint ta Puluzija, Lands, Mepa, Kunsill bla MA HADD IRID JAGHMEL XEJN. Dan japplika ghal kazi ohra ta opri tal-bahar li jankraw u limlew il-bajjiet. Kif ukoll kiosks kummercjali li jarmaw bla permessi. FAR WEST COWBOY COUNTRY.
Joseph Angileri
Mela sew jghajdu li kull ligi jithallew it-toqob biex jintuzaw kif u meta hemm bzonn!!!! Dwar dan il-kaz tal-misthija hareg il-Ministru tal-Gustizzja jiddefendi BISS kif kienu lebsin l-akkuzati, ma setawx il-puluzija jwasslu l-akkuzati d-dar biex ikunu lebsin xieraq meta jittellaw il-Qorti u juru aktar rispett lejn il-qrati ta’ Malta. Kieku kont jien il-Magistrat kont l-ewwel nibghatom id-dar biex jilbsu kif suppost. X’ser jghajd il-Ministru dwar is-sentenza!!!! Jien meta kelli problema fizika u kelli ta bil-fors inpixxi ma hajt (f’dak iz-zmien ma kienx hemm il-ligi dwar il-klieb) kont ikkundanat 50 lira Maltin u din ghada fuq il-kondotta. Ma nahsibx illi ghax il-vittma kellu jahfrilom kontra qalbu ghandom jehlu BISS 60 euro . U x’ser jghajd ghas sentenza sospiza imtawwla ….hawwadna ha nifmhu.
Censor Fortress
Excuses Ministry of Justice... Why don't you grab the bull by it's horns and start protecting law abiding citizens instead of coming up with excuses to cover up for thugs who break the law?
maltipur
Is-sentenza kienet ridikola u l-avukat tal-kuruna jmissu jappellaha. Kultant certi magistrati ma nistax nifimhom ghax jaghtu sentenzi harxa meta ma jkunx hemm bzonn u sentenzi hfief meta dak li jkun ikun haqqu anke habs. Ma nistghux nibdlu l-mentalita' ta' certi nies b'sentenzi din il-kwalita'.
Peter Agius
@Lela. Franco b'dawn l-affarjiet jiehu pjacir u mhux jahdem kontra taghhom. Bhal shabu Giglio u Schriha. Dawn huma is-sangisugi ta' artna.
gino7266
HUWA VERU LI QAL IL MINISTERU IZDA HEMM KAZI ILLI IL-FAMILJARI TAL-AKKUZAT JINTALBU JTELLAW IL-HWEJJEG IL-POLICE HEADQUATERS. EZEMPJU META TRESQU DAWK IT-TNEJN LI HUMA AKKUZATI BI' QTIL F'PACEVILLE BIL-GLEKK QEGHDIN ZGUR MA'HUMIEX BIL-HWEJJEG LI BIJOM GEW ARRESTATI.
Martin Vella
60 euros each,this must be a joke right?Franco, Malta needs you.
Nigel Lawrence
Squatters rule, OK?
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