Police inspector insists girl who allegedly lied on her father was 'credible'

Constitutional Court rules that 25 reports filed against the mother of a girl who allegedly filed false accusations of abuse against her father, are irrelevant to the constitutional case alleging the father did not have a fair trial

The 25 reports filed against the former wife of a man who was imprisoned over false accusations of defiling his daughter, are not relevant to the father’s claim of unfair trial, the Constitutional Court ruled today.

As Mr Justice JR Micallef continued hearing the Constitutional Case filed by Emmanuel Camilleri who is claiming his right to a fair trial was violated, and he was wrongfully imprisoned over a false allegations that he had defiled his daughter.

Lawyer Tonio Azzopardi then continued the cross-examination of Inspector Louise Calleja. The inspector exhibited a report, dated 2010, in which Leanne Camilleri was reported missing.

She explained that cases of child neglect are dealt with by district police and this report was filed at the Qawra police station. However a missing person report is investigated by the Vice Squad, she said, adding that the girl was the same person who had alleged that her father had sexually abused her.

Questioned by the lawyer if the Police Incident Reporting System (PIRS) had been functioning properly, the inspector replied she was not Duty Officer at the Vice Squad on the day of the report. “However the system was operational because Inspector Melvyn Camilleri got the report”, she said.

The witness continued she was not aware that Dr Stephanie Galea had a report relating to the case. “But after the defence mentioned the report, the Children’s lawyer was summoned to testify”.

Galea took the witness stand in November 2007. The report, which had been removed from the documentation of the case, was re-inserted after a confrontation was held between Galea and the girl.

”It was the court who guided us to put the girl on the witness stand. The Court actually ruled to hear the witness. As a prosecutor I asked that the girl testifies again, once the court was presented with Galea’s report. I had no intention to waste the court’s time”.

Dr Azzopardi warned the witness that if it results that what the inspector said is not true, he will request that action is taken against her. Judge Micallef warned the lawyer not to issue threats against any witness.

The witness continued that Leanne Camilleri also had problems at school, and the Head of her school had testified in the case. But the lawyer said that what he was referring to was what happened before the girl had been recovered at Mount Carmel.

“I knew she was at Mount Carmel, but I do not recall why. She also spent a short time at the YPU. I had spoken to the people of Fejda”.

Dr Azzopardi argued that the inspector had not informed the Magistrate about this and it was the defence which had to bring this to the court’s attention.

The witness replied she needed to confirm if it was really the defence who had told the court about this. ”When I got involved in the case other persons were already looking after her,” the inspector told the court.

“While Leanne Camilleri was at Fejda I kept in touch with her, but then, of her own free will she returned home to stay with her relatives.”

The girl allegedly sent her father a birthday card at the same time he was meant to be abusing her. Inspector Calleja explained there are cases where victims of abuse react in this way.

“There is anger, but there are also emotions. I still stand by Leanne’s version of events”, the inspector told the court.

At this, Dr Azzopardi asked if the witness still believes the girl after what resulted from the inquiry. The girl had allegedly invented the rape story after reading about it in a book.

 “I feel and believe that her first account was credible. The charges against her father were based on our investigations”, the witness replied.

Inspector Louise Calleja also spoke about what Luke Camilleri told Dr Galea. “That was a separate and civil case. By 2009 the court had already heard our submissions in the case against the father”.

From 1999 till this year, the inspector investigated various claims of alleged sexual abuse. “I received training in Germany, Holland and Sweden, and there were instances where I delivered training myself at the Europen Police Collage and Europol. I’m still an appointee on the Council for Children and the Commission of Domestic Violence.

At the end of the sitting Dr Azzopardi said that during her interview on Xarabank, the girl had apologised to the inspector. “This was because she realised the implications of lying to the inspector. Since this can be considered as new evidence, I want to summon the girl to take the stand”, the lawyer told the court.


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