Magistrate displeased at being emailed by Julie Meyer about her case

Venture capitalist Julie Meyer sent numerous emails to the magistrate presiding over her case in what the court declared to be illegal and a breach of ethics 

Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech has reacted with displeasure to being emailed directly by a defendant and her foreign lawyer in a case over unpaid wages.

Businesswoman Julie Meyer is currently facing three lawsuits over employees’ unpaid salaries and outstanding bills.

She is the organiser of the Follow the Entrepreneur Investor Summit, a major event at which both Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Economy Minister Chris Cardona have been speakers.

In a sitting last month, when Meyer failed to appear after the police were unable to track her down and notify her with her summons, the magistrate had ordered the Commissioner of Police to dedicate all the police resources required to find Meyer - including sending officers to man fixed point observation posts outside any address that she may be in.

In the days before the sitting, Meyer had sent a local lawyer to settle the dues in court, but the magistrate had insisted that Meyer could not do so.

On that same day Meyer had sent a lengthy email to Magistrate Frendo Dimech, which was read out in court this morning, making a number of allegations and saying that she wanted to pay but wasn’t being allowed to and that she didn’t have to appear.

More emails to the magistrate’s deputy followed over the next few days, sent by UK law firm Farrer and Co.

The attempt caused uproar in the court this morning.

After reading out the emails in full today, the court reconvened the case ahead of its scheduled date, declaring that the emails were illegal and a breach of ethics. The magistrate ordered that the decree and the emails be delivered to the President.

Under the Criminal Code, in such cases, the magistrate is duty bound to inform all the parties of communication she receives and to pass on a copy to the President of the Republic.

Frendo Dimech further declared that Julie Meyer has to appear before her at all costs, irrespective of whether the payments are settled or not.

The court made it clear that until Julia Meyer or co-accused Amithbia Pau appeared in court to answer the criminal charges, irrespective of whether or not she had settled the amounts due, the case would continue to be put off until it is decided in the presence of the accused, because there is no possibility of a trial in absentia under Maltese law.

Lawyer Andrew Grima assisted the prosecution, lawyer Joe Giglio was parte civile.

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