Victim gives harrowing account of forced abortion

A woman whose boyfriend carried out a forced abortion on her said he had led her to the bedroom to have intercourse, where three men appeared and overpowered her

matthew_agius
Matthew Agius
14 August 2017, 10:59am
The man thought to have carried out the abortion, Ashref Ammar Margham, fled Malta after the incident
The man thought to have carried out the abortion, Ashref Ammar Margham, fled Malta after the incident
A woman whose boyfriend carried out a forced abortion on her in a Swieqi flat last April has described her ordeal in court.

The man thought to have carried out the abortion, Ashref Ammar Margham, who fled Malta after the incident, told a Libyan newspaper that he had punched her in the stomach after an argument, but denied stabbing her.

The Moroccan mother took the witness stand before Magistrate Joe Mifsud this morning in criminal proceedings against one of the men who assisted in the abortion, Nizar Gwelleg, who stands accused of attempted murder, grievous bodily harm resulting in an abortion, administering poisonous or harmful substances, holding the woman against her will and aggravated theft.

Gwelleg, who bears a Hungarian passport, sat impassively in the dock as the mother testified.

When I told him I was pregnant he had been happy,” she said. Margham had taken her to the bedroom, telling her that they were about to have intercourse.

When I took of my clothes and we were on the bed, I see three men with masks and gloves holding a facecloth that had been soaked in something that smelled like alcohol.” They had placed it over her mouth. “They put very loud music on. They tied me up with tieclips. My legs one to each bedpost. I tried to scream. They crushed a pill and my boyfriend made me eat it.”

I know Nizar...he had an M tattooed on his right hand. Nizar put pils up my private parts.” He was also filming the proceedings, the woman said, having first rifled through her handbag. She said she heard her boyfriend say that he could take whatever valuables he found in there.

I was still conscious. At one point, one of the men started stabbing me. Nizar was the most violent. He put his hand in my womb, stabbing me in my stomach. My boyfriend climbed on my tummy and jumped and Nizar told him to press harder, while he tried to pull out the foetus. I lost consciousness and woke up in hospital. It was between 5 and 530pm.”

The baby was Margham’s, she said.

Asked what had been stolen from her handbag, she said “they took my mobile, a gold ring from my handbag and purse.” She later saw her ring being used as a pendant by the accused in photos posted to Facebook two or three weeks after the incident, she said.

Lawyer Leslie Cuschieri asked the woman whether she knew the names of the other two men, but she had been unable to identify them as “they didn't talk much.”

Magistrate Joe Mifsud decreed that there was sufficient evidence to issue a bill of indictment against Gwelleg. The case continues in September.

Inspectors Trevor Micallef and Nikolai Sant are prosecuting.

matthew_agius
Court reporter Matthew Agius is a Legal Procurator and Commissioner for Oaths. Prior to re...