Unconvinced court refuses man's admission to harassment of ex

Court refuses guilty plea after accused expresses reservations 

A court has refused a guilty plea made by a man accused of threatening and harassing his ex-girlfriend, after noting that he had expressed reservations in his plea.

Swieqi resident Abdulwahad Alasawad, 33, from Libya was arraigned before magistrate Neville Camilleri this morning, accused of causing the woman to fear violence, harassing her, misusing telecommunications equipment threatening and attacking her.

The accused told the court that he was guilty, “but not of everything.” Under Maltese law, guilty pleas must be unconditional.

Legal aid lawyer Josette Sultana explained that the accused did not agree with some of the questions put to him in his statement.

But the court said it could not accept the man’s guilty plea, due to the fact that Alasawad had expressed a reservation in his plea.

Although the accused had pleaded guilty to the charges brought against him, because he had said various times “not of everything”, the magistrate rejected his plea of guilt and instead considered his plea as one of not guilty to the charges as drawn up. 

Bail was subsequently requested.

Prosecuting inspector Joanna Piscopop objected to the man’s release, as the victim was yet to testify, explaining that the harassment took place over the span of two years and was ongoing.

Sultana said the man had since realised that his behaviour was against the law and that he should not call the woman again. “He has a clean police conduct. His life is here, he had been in Malta for many years,” argued the lawyer.

The court, after seeing the nature of the charges against the accused, all documents filed by prosecution in today’s sitting and the report referring him to the Domestic Violence unit, denied bail at this stage as it was not satisfied that he would not satisfy the conditions imposed if bail was granted.

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