Magistrate clears former Gozo Minister of domestic violence

The court dismissed the charges over a lack of evidence

Former Gozo Minister Anton Refalo has been cleared of charges of domestic violence against his son after the Cout of Magistrates which said it couldn’t find him guilty over a lack of evidence.

Refalo, who currently serves as chairman of Heritage Malta, was accused of domestic violence against his son after he allegedly shared pictures of his former girlfriend.

In his judgment, magistrate Joe Mifsud noted that the doctor that had examined his son had found that he had only suffered slight injuries which required no treatment.

Moreover, the court noted that Refalo’s wife, who was present during the incident, had asked to be exempt from testifying.  A request the court obliged to.

“With the exception of the police’s testimony, that only constitutes hearsay and which is therefore inadmissible…this process is marked by a lack of evidence that could somehow substantiate the accusations made against the accused.”

The magistrate citing criminal procedure noted that evidence should be rejected as hearsay if “the person originally stating the facts does not state them under oath, and if the person against whom the evidence is offered had not the opportunity of cross-examining that other person as to his recollection, veracity or means of knowledge”.

Back in 2016 it was revealed that Mifsud was acting as a consultant to the ministry while Refalo was still minister. He resigned his consultancy upon being appointed magistrate.

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