‘Wrongful’ imprisonment | Court gives stern warning to estranged wife, does not revoke bail

Police turn down prosecution’s request to revoke bail of Lisa May Camilleri; court berates accused for repeated kissing of crucifix and dead son’s memorial card.

A court has turned down a request by the prosecution to revoke the bail of Lisa May Camilleri, the woman who is being charged with instigating her daughter to falsely testify that her father had raped her.

Describing Camilleri’s actions as a “product of her basic level of education,” Magistrate Ian Farrugia insisted that while Lisa May Camilleri did not breach bail technically, she was nevertheless threading on thin ice and warned her that if she “crosses the line, [she] would be jailed.”

The court’s decree came two days after the prosecution requested the court to revoke the bail of Camilleri. Despite the court prohibiting her from approaching any witnesses, the prosecution argued that the accused “indirectly influenced witnesses” when she approached two bus drivers and asked them about her estranged husband, his whereabouts and whether he still worked with Transport Malta.

Camilleri, as well as her mother Mary Carabott, vehemently denied the claims. Kissing the crucifix and memorial card of her late son, Camilleri insisted that the “this was all a lie. I swear under oath, and on my dead son, I never talked to them.”

In his decree handed down this morning, Magistrate Ian Farrugia said that the prosecution’s version was the most “trustworthy,” and agreed that the accused and her mother were both at City Gate and had in fact spoken to the bus driver and asked them about Emanuel Camilleri.

“I have no doubt that the prosecution’s version was the truth. I was not impressed by the repeated kissing of the crucifix and her late son’s memorial card by Camilleri or her mother,” he said.

At this point, the accused’s mother, Mary Carabott, interrupted the Magistrate saying that “it was not true,” and was consequently ordered out of the court by the magistrate.

Despite this, the magistrate insisted that “technically” Camilleri did not breach bail in terms of the law, and turned down the request by the prosecution.

“Consider yourself lucky - your actions are making things worse for you and your family.

“In football terms, you have just hit the post. It seems that you do not understand, if you cross the line one more time, you will be jailed,” Magistrate Farrugia said.

Lisa May Camilleri is pleading not guilty to perjury and to instigating her daughter, Leanne Camilleri, to falsely testify that her father had raped her. The father, Emanuel Camilleri, was released from prison 400 days into his two year sentence after the daughter recanted her allegations.

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