‘Wrongly’ jailed man | Estranged wife says allegations are untrue; police seek revocation of bail

Compilation of evidence against estranged wife Lisa May Camilleri continues, as tearful accused takes the witness stand and accuses everyone, including her daughter, of lying.

Lisa May Camilleri – the estranged wife of a ‘wrongly’ jailed man who spent 14 months behind bars after being convicted of molesting and defiling his daughter – has said that all the allegations are untrue, claiming that everyone is a liar, “just like her daughter.”

The remarks, which were met by a stern warning by Magistrate Ian Farrugia, were made during the compilation of evidence against Camilleri, who is pleading not guilty to lying under oath and to forcing her daughter to claim that her father, Emanuel Camilleri, 48, of Valletta, had raped her several times.

Prosecuting inspectors Sandro Camilleri and James Grech filed an application for the revocation of Lisa May Camilleri’s bail, arguing that she had approached two bus drivers and asked them about her husband and his whereabouts – which events could have “indirectly tampered with evidence.”

Quoting the court’s decree, the prosecution insisted that even though Lisa May Camilleri was repeatedly warned of tampering with evidence, she nevertheless “tried to do so.”

Taking the witness stand, bus driver Martin Grech told the court that a few days before August 22, the accused had approached him and his colleague, a certain Saviour D’ Amato, and asked him where her ex-husband was.

“We were taking a break near the Valletta bus terminus, when she [Lisa May] sat next to us, and asked us where Emanuel Camilleri was, and told us that he was going to throw her in prison. Moreover, she asked us whether he still works with Arriva.”

“I told her that I did not know, and upon realising who she was, I told my colleague,” he said while adding that he then informed Emanuel Camilleri.

Cross examined by the defence, Grech argued that he does not know the exact date when the alleged meeting between him and the accused occurred. He explained that when summoned for questioning by police on August 22, he told inspector Sandro Camilleri that Emanuel’s former wife had approached them.

On her part, Lisa May Camilleri, who during the sitting was heard disputing the allegations, took the witness stand, claiming that she did not talk to the bus drivers, and that she was only having a soft drink with her mother.

“I only went to Valletta to drink a soft drink with my mother. I did not talk to or see these people [the bus drivers]. They are all liars,” she said.

Camilleri, who during her testimony, repeatedly kissed the crucifix and her late son’s memorial card, insisted that the allegations were all “lies,” and that she does not anything to do with her former husband and their daughter.

“This is all a lie. I swear under oath, and on my dead son, I never talked to them. Why are they doing this to me? These people are liars, just like Leanne [her daughter],” she said while being warned by Magistrate Ian Farrugia against lying.

The accused’s mother, Mary Carabott, seconded her daughter’s oath. Kissing a picture of her dead grandson, Carabott denied that her daughter asked for her ex-husband.

In submissions, defence lawyer Marin Fenech said the police application for the revocation of bail was null and void, highlighting the witnesses’ “conflicting testimony” as the main bone of contention.

“How could they say that she tampered with evidence when she was having a soft drink with her mother? Notwithstanding this, if these allegations are true, it is not enough to revoke bail because she did not ask anyone to contact Emanuel Camilleri,” the defence held.

The court will take its decision on the revocation of bail on Thursday.

Inspectors Sandro Camilleri and James Grech prosecuted, while lawyer Martin Fenech was defence counsel.