Former asylum seeker handed suspended sentence after leaving Malta illegally

A former asylum seeker was caught in Sweden and traced back to Malta through the European fingerprint database

A 31-year-old Syrian former asylum seeker has been handed a suspended sentence this morning after he admitted to having left Malta illegally.
Feras Al Haddad had arrived in Malta following his rescue from a 2013 tragedy at sea.

The Syrian had however exited the country without informing the authorities and made his way to Sweden, via Germany.

Al Haddad was arraigned under arrest before Magistrate Charmaine Galea this morning after he was caught by Swedish police and traced back to Malta through the European fingerprint database.

Legal aid lawyer Simon Micallef Stafrace entered a guilty plea, suggesting a suspended sentence for his client. The Syrian was handed a six - month sentence, suspended for two years.

The magistrate warned al Haddad that the crime of entering or leaving Malta without a valid passport carried a maximum fine of €11,000 and a custodial sentence. "If he is caught and returned to Malta again, there will be no suspended sentences."