Gozo man cleared of filing false report as court notes lack of investigation

The court noted that the prosecuting police inspector did not testify, leaving the court with no way of knowing what had led to the man being charged with knowingly filing a false report.

Gordy Mercieca was cleared of filing a false police report
Gordy Mercieca was cleared of filing a false police report

A man has been cleared of filing a false police report in Gozo after the prosecuting police inspector did not give evidence, with the court lambasting the prosecution for choosing to arraign without investigating.

Gordy Mercieca had been charged with filing a false police report against Josef Mizzi in February this year. Mizzi had been called up by the police on February 24 and told that Mercieca had filed a report in which he claimed that Mizzi had tried to run him over.

The court was also told that CCTV footage of the area did not show the incident.

Mercieca was subsequently charged with filing a false police report.

Only two witnesses testified in the proceedings, Mizzi being one of them.

In fact, the court noted that the prosecuting police inspector did not testify, leaving the court with no way of knowing what had led to the man being charged with knowingly filing a false report.

Magistrate Joseph Mifsud observed that the man had reported to the police a fact that might have taken place in his opinion. In no way did he try to report a fact which he believed hadn’t taken place, noted the magistrate.

Mercieca was therefore cleared of the charges.

The Court expressed its concern at the practice in Gozo of pressing charges for false reporting whenever someone files a report of an offence which upon investigation is not found to subsist.

It is up to the police to investigate and see whether there is a case of false reporting before arraigning and not to simply shift the burden of deciding this onto the courts, said the magistrate.

The court said it would not be a part of the “stupid and scandalous piques where people expect to dictate themselves what should happen in court.” The magistrate added that the judiciary, the police and lawyers had a duty not to let the Courts end up as "a forum for the cultivation of rivalry."

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