AG demands psychiatric evaluation of Erin Tanti, now studying at university

Attorney General wants courts to appoint three experts to monitor Erin Tanti's psychiatric treatment while studying at university

The Attorney General has asked the court hearing the compilation of evidence against Erin Tanti – accused of the murder and assisted suicide of 15-year-old Lisa Marie Zahra – to appoint psychiatric experts to assess Tanti’s suitability to attend a university course.

Tanti, 24, was granted bail on 23 June 2015 subject to a €20,000 deposit and €50,000 personal guarantee, and on condition that he lives with his mother and submits himself to the care of psychiatrist Maria Axiaq.

He has now enrolled himself in the University of Malta to read for a bachelor’s degree.

The AG asked the courts to appoint three psychiatric experts that can examine the progress of Tanti’s psychiatric care “so as to ensure that the accused is not of any danger to his own self or to third parties, considering especially the sensitive age of the majority of university students.”

Tanti was a drama teacher at St Michael’s Foundation when he was said to have seduced Zahra, before the girl ended her life tragically in what was believed to have been a botched suicide pact. Tanti was accused with her wilful homicide and encouraging her suicide on 19 March 2014, after the two were found at the bottom of Dingli cliffs.

On the night in question, Tanti picked up Zahra from her house, the two then switched off their mobile phones in the vicinity of Naxxar, and then drove to Dingli Cliffs. The two were believed to have drank half a bottle of whisky, swallowed the contents of three boxes of aspirin, before proceeding to jump.

Zahra died as a result of her injuries and Tanti was hospitalized to receive treatment for his.

Tanti was also charged with defiling the teen when she was in his care as a teacher, participating in sexual acts with her when she was a vulnerable person, and abusing his position of trust as a teacher.

He had been previously denied bail earlier this year, in March 2015.

Lawyers Michael and Lucio Sciriha are appearing for Tanti.