Man charged with abducting woman from bus stop and sexually assaulting her

Accused offered the victim a lift while she was waiting for the bus, and when she refused abducted her in his van before proceeding to sexually assault her

File photo
File photo

An Albanian man residing in Malta has denied kidnapping a woman from a bus stop and sexually abusing her.

Ilir Gjorna, of St. Paul’s Bay was charged with kidnapping the Maltese woman, committing a non-consensual sexual act on her, holding her against her will, forcing her to perform acts contrary to her modesty, subjecting the woman to unwanted acts of physical intimacy, offending public morals, not being in complete control of the vehicle he was driving and using a mobile phone while driving.

The victim, 29, is understood to have been waiting at a bus stop when the defendant stopped and offered her a lift. When she refused, Gjorna allegedly got out of the van and pushed her into it, abducting her. Once she was inside the vehicle, the prosecution claims that he proceeded to grope the woman and attempted to force her to perform oral sex.

Gjorna, who told the court he was a Slovenian carpenter, had left the islands shortly after the incident and was arrested yesterday at the airport upon his return to Malta.

Lawyer Mario Buttigieg, defence counsel, told the court that the man was pleading not guilty to the charges.

Bail was not requested.

Two mobile phones, belonging to the defendant were exhibited in court.

Prosecuting lawyer Angele Vella asked the court to issue a protection order in favour of the alleged victim, which the court immediately upheld.

In terms of the order, Gjorna was prohibited from approaching, contacting or molesting the woman or going to the places she normally frequents, for a three-year period.

The court warned the accused that breaching this order would render him liable to a fine of €7,000 or imprisonment

Police inspectors Andrew Agius Bonelo and Clayton Camilleri prosecuted, together with prosecutors Angele Vella and Danika Vella from the Attorney General’s Office.