Man who travelled with fake passport given suspended sentence

The defence argued that since the man would be deported, a suspended sentence would be adequate

An Albanian national who pleaded guilty to having travelled to Malta using a forged passport was handed down a suspended sentence today, after the defence argued that incarcerating him would only make him a burden on the state.

Julian Rama, 30, was arraigned in court before Magistrate Audrey Demicoli on charges of having, on 5 August, knowingly made use of a forged passport.

In a statement to the police, Rama had said that he had travelled to Italy with an Albanian passport, and had then met someone there who had given him the forged passport. He said he had come to Malta for the purpose of then travelling on to the UK.

Rama also claimed that the person who had given him the passport had also given him the email address of a certain “Tony Montana”, who he was to email on his arrival to the UK.

The defence argued that, since the accused would be deported from Malta, it wouldn’t make sense for the court to give him an effective prison sentence for his crime, and turn him into a burden on the state.

“We shouldn’t be after a pound of flesh, but we are after justice, so we believe a suspended sentence, in the circumstances, would be ideal,” the defence said.

The prosecution, however, requested an effective prison sentence, remarking that this was the second instance of someone being caught using a fake passport in the last four days, and that the practice shouldn’t be allowed to turn into a trend.

Taking the circumstances of the case into consideration, the court nevertheless sentenced the man to 18 months in prison, suspended for four years.

Inspector Claire Borg prosecuted.

Ismael Psaila was legal aid for the accused.

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