Pensioner in custody over possession of 'extreme child porn'

Maltese authorities were alerted by the US Organisation - National Center for Missing & Exploited Children •  the 73-year-old accused claimed to be a victim of 'a frame-up by the Americans'

The police say the offences took place in November 2022
The police say the offences took place in November 2022

A 73-year-old man from St. Paul’s Bay has been remanded in custody after being charged with the possession and dissemination of what has been described as “extreme child pornography.”

Publius Said, also known as Leo or Pullu, was arraigned under arrest before magistrate Charmaine Galea on Saturday afternoon, accused of possession of child pornography and misuse of electronic communications equipment.

The police say the offences took place during the month of November 2022 and in previous months.

Police Inspector Joseph Busuttil, prosecuting, explained that the police had investigated the defendant after receiving an alert from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, a US-based organisation involved in the fight against child abduction and sexual exploitation.

NCMEC had informed the Maltese authorities about pornographic videos showing extreme, violent sexual abuse carried out on very young children, which had allegedly been downloaded by Said.

The police are understood to have found four such videos on electronic devices owned by Said. Inside the courtroom, the defendant protested that he was a victim of "a frame-up by the Americans".

Said is no stranger to the courts and was only recently ordered to pay €3,000 in moral damages to lawyer John Bonello last December for publishing a number of wildly false allegations about the lawyer on Facebook. 
In court today, Said entered a plea of not guilty and was remanded in custody after being denied bail.

Lawyer Carmel Gatt was defence counsel.