Ex-employee went to boss's wife with false tale of infidelity, court told

Bartosz Marcin Adruszaniec is charged with harassment, blackmail and making threats to the partners and staff at the firm, as well as with theft from a shop and the attempted robbery of a residence in St. Paul’s Bay

The wife of one of the partners at the law firm which employed Bartosz Marcin Adruszaniec has told a court how messages sent to her by the former employee had instigated marital strife and caused her to fear for her family’s safety.

She was one of several witnesses who took the stand last week as the compilation of evidence against the man continued. Adruszaniec, 42, is charged with harassment, blackmail and making threats to the partners and staff at the firm, as well as with theft from a shop and the attempted robbery of a residence in St. Paul’s Bay. He denies all the charges.

The wife explained that she too had received messages from the accused. Some of these were intended to destabilise her marriage, alleging that her husband had been involved in an extramarital affair whilst on a business trip abroad. Sometime later, the accused had apologised to her about this, saying that he had not wanted to involve her, but after a short while, the messages started again. 

In one of his messages to her, the former employee told the woman that her husband had “unleashed” him, mentioning the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, adding that he had “nothing to lose”. The witness said she had feared for her husband’s safety and that of her two young children.

The employer had offered psychiatric help to the accused together with assistance with paying for his accommodation, but this did nothing to abate the threats.

Another witness described the situation as “scary.” “It put me under mental stress. I felt I was targeted,” said the personal assistant to one of the partners at the firm.

Adruszaniec, a lawyer by profession, had inundated the firm’s partners with WhatsApp messages, calls and Instagram pictures, one of which was an image of a burned-down house and a prostrate woman at the foot of a staircase. He had also menacingly referenced the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, the court had been told.

She had forwarded the communications to the HR Manager, she said, explaining that the threats had forced the firm to employ private security guards.

A second partner in the law firm had testified to having been spammed with 28 long-winded emails from the man in just four days.

He also recalled a disturbing video sent by the accused in which Adruszaniec says “it’s such a beautiful day…this will not stop here.”

The accused had threatened to email clients and publish false information to damage the reputation of the firm, the witness explained. He told the court that the law firm’s clientele would not expect correspondence that was not work-related.

“We risked losing important clients,” he said.

Lawyer Graziella Tanti is defence counsel.

Lawyer Stefano Filletti is appearing as parte civile for the law firm.

Inspector Clayton Camilleri is prosecuting.

The name of the firm and the witnesses cannot be published by order of the court.

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