Taxi driver released on bail after admitting to sexually assaulting tourist

Court was told how the man, 44, had immediately made sexual advances towards the victim when he picked her up from the airport on Saturday evening

A taxi driver has been released on bail pending sentencing after admitting to having sexually assaulting a tourist.

44-year-old Egyptian national Ahmed Hassan Moustafa Moussa Ebid was arraigned before magistrate Giannella Camilleri Busuttil by Inspector Roxanne Tabone on Thursday afternoon.

The court was told how Ebid had immediately started making sexual advances towards the victim when he picked her up from the airport on Saturday evening.

Inspector Tabone explained that the woman reported feeling uncomfortable as soon as the defendant started making suggestive comments to her. The man then placed his hand on the woman’s lap, which she had pushed away and told him to stop. Ebid had persisted in his harassment, however, and went on to touch her private parts.

The woman had surreptitiously recorded the incident on her mobile phone, the court was told, and had shown the video to the police while filing her report.

Ebid was traced through the cab company he worked with and confessed while under interrogation. He confirmed his guilt during his arraignment.   

Lawyer Thomas Barbara Sant, assisting the defendant as legal aid counsel, stressed that the man was a first-time offender, and had been working in Malta a long time. Ebid had also apologised for his actions, he told the court.

Ebid was released on bail until his sentencing hearing, against €500 a deposit and a €500 personal guarantee. He was ordered to sign a bail book daily and ordered not to contact or approach the victim, whose name is subject to a ban on publication. A protection order in favour of the woman was also issued.

Lawyer Jurgen Dalli from the Office of the Attorney General prosecuted, together with police inspector Roxanne Tabone. Lawyer Thomas Barbara Sant was legal aid counsel. Lawyers Rene Darmanin and Alfred Abela represented the victim.