Passport offender charged over child porn in phone

A man has denied child porn charges after prison staff found pornography relating to an infant on his mobile phone as he was being admitted to Corradino Correctional Facility

A 34-year-old man from Togo has denied child porn charges after prison staff found pornography relating to an infant on his mobile phone as he was being admitted to Corradino Correctional Facility.

Inspector Roxanne Tabone and Inspector Paul Camilleri arraigned Ahmid Rabu, who is unemployed, before magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech this morning.

Rabu was charged with procuring and possession of child pornography.

The material is understood to have been found on one of 5 mobile phones the man was in possession of, as he was being checked-in to prison over a passport-related offence.

Rabu pleaded not guilty to the charges. His lawyer, Joe Mifsud, contested the validity of the man’s arrest. “The accused was not caught with anything in his possession and I don’t know why he was brought in under arrest. He was arrested over a passport issue and his mobile phone was seized…”

Inspector Camilleri explained that Rabu had been sentenced for the passport offence and was due to leave prison on 16 March and was a flight risk. The illicit items were found on his phone before his admission to CCF, said the inspector.

In view of the gravity of the charges, the court deemed the arraignment under arrest justified.
Mifsud asked whether the charges referred to anything which happened in Malta. “Is the video filmed in Malta?” began the lawyer, but was overruled by the Court the questions dealt with the merits and was still at the arraignment stage.

A request for bail was made, despite the man being in prison. It is not fair that a man be remanded in custody for some two years for something which was deleted and extracted by experts, said the lawyer.

The magistrate would issue a decree from chambers on the man’s bail request.

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