Priest who said being ‘gay is worse than being possessed’ cleared of hate speech by court

Fr David Muscat was acquitted on Thursday because there was no criminal intent in his comments

A court has cleared Mosta priest Fr David Muscat of hate speech, arguing that his comments were not made with malice.

Muscat was charged in January for inciting hatred or violence because of homophobic remarks he made in two Facebook posts.  

In one post, Muscat said that Abner Aquilina, who is suspected of killing Polish student Paulina Dembska, might be gay, bisexual, or possessed by the devil. He also said that being gay is worse than being possessed.

In a separate post, which showed Aquilina sporting a colourful shirt, Muscat said that he appeared to be returning from a gay pride fest.

Archbishop Charles Scicluna later sent the the priest a formal warning, urging him to avoid making “inflammatory and offensive comments or else he might lose the right to carry out his ministry in public.

On Thursday, the court presided by Magistrate Ian Farrugia acquitted Muscat of the allegations because there was no criminal intent behind his comments.

Muscat was represented by lawyers Mariah Mulah and Christopher Attard.