Somali migrant jailed for attempting to abscond from Malta

Court imprisons 19-year-old migrant out of fear that he would refuse medical attention to heart problem; hands Ghanaian migrant suspended jail term for using invalid travel documents. 

File photo of an asylum-seeker being held under police custody: A 19-year-old migrant has been jailed for one year for attempting to escape from Malta using fake passports.
File photo of an asylum-seeker being held under police custody: A 19-year-old migrant has been jailed for one year for attempting to escape from Malta using fake passports.

Ernest Kingsley Sorfa, a 19-year-old Somali migrant, was this afternoon handed a one-year imprisonment term after pleading guilty of attempting to abscond from Malta using invalid travel documents.

Sorfa and Ghanian migrant Sheick Abdi Omar Saad were this morning apprehended in Valletta while trying to board a catamaran to Sicily using fake passports.

The prosecution claimed that in February, 19-year-old Sorfa, had escaped police custody while being treated at Mater Dei Hospital for a heart problem.

In his admission, the migrant argued that he had escaped from Mater Dei because hospital staff was only taking his blood and that he consequently sought medical treatment in Italy.

Despite Sorfa’s guilty plea of using and being in possession of fake travel documents, the court, presided by Magistrate Carol Peralta, sentenced the 19-year-old jailed the migrant out of fear that he would again refuse medical attention.

“At such a tender age, it is of paramount importance that he is given medical treatment. If he is given a suspended sentence, I am afraid that he would attempt to escape again or refuse medical attention.”

“It is therefore for his own good that he be kept in prison and under police custody to ensure that he is given the proper medical care. I am sure that if he is given a suspended sentence, the accused would regret it as he would try to escape again,” the magistrate argued.

The Somali migrant, who was also accused of being in possession of the fake document, escaping from police custody and of forging immigration documents, was sentenced to one year in prison.

On the other hand, Ghanaian Sheick Abdi Omar Saad, who this morning was also caught trying to board a catamaran using fake travel documents, argued that due to the fact that he was refused protection in Malta and consequently not in possession of a passport, he  “had no choice” but to use a fake passport to leave Malta.

Taking into account his guilty plea, Magistrate Carol Peralta handed the Ghanaian migrant a one-year suspended sentence suspended for two years.

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