Maximilian Ciantar jailed for false claim of police brutality

Maximillian Ciantar has been jailed for a year after a court found that he had falsely claimed to be the victim of police brutality

Maximillian Ciantar has been jailed for a year after a court found that he had falsely claimed to be the victim of police brutality.

Ciantar, from Marsa, has a history of driving-related convictions and is notorious for having run over two young girls in Attard back in 2010. 

Magistrate Joseph Mifsud handed Ciantar the maximum prison sentence which the court could impose, he said, that of one year in prison.

But the court also criticised the prosecution for having used the wrong date on one of the charges, leading to Ciantar being acquitted of the charge of having fabricated evidence against another person.

Likewise, Ciantar was also acquitted of a third charge of breaching the conditions of a previous court sentence, because the copy of the sentence exhibited by the prosecution was not accompanied by proof of identity of the accused. 

Magistrate Mifsud heard how Ciantar had been taken into custody on 28 May 2018 in Qormi for driving without a licence, after his licence had been withdrawn by court order. 

He had tried to injure himself whilst in custody in order to give the impression that he had been beaten by the police.

As he was being put in the police car, he had started shouting out that he was being beaten up. Ciantar had also tried to twist his handcuffed hands in an effort to cause a fracture, while also having to be stopped from bagging his against a wall by officers at Ħamrun police station.

However, he refused to be taken to a health centre when, during his strip search, when police noticed some scratches on his body. It was agreed that the injuries would be noted in the records book instead.

The court was satisfied that the police had only used minimum force during the arrest and that Ciantar had refused to cooperate.  

In spite of this, the court said it could not find Ciantar guilty of fabricating evidence because the prosecution had given the date of the incident as 18 September 2017 and not 28 May 2017 on the charge sheet. No request to correct the date been made during the proceedings observed the court.

Magistrate Mifsud found Ciantar guilty of making a false report when he claimed to have been beaten up by the police while he was being arrested. Ciantar was well aware that what he was claiming had not in fact taken place, so much so that he had refused to be taken to a health centre, said the court. 

Noting the testimonies of a number of police officers, the court observed that it had been Ciantar who had violently resisted arrest and further noted that medical certificates showed that Ciantar had not been kicked, but had only suffered scratches.

Handing down the maximum sentence the court could impose for the filing of a false report, the magistrate highlighted the fact that the false report could have given rise to criminal proceedings against innocent persons and possibly ruined their careers.

This country could no longer tolerate a situation where, on the pretext of free speech, people's careers were potentially destroyed, said the magistrate Mifsud, adding that the court felt it should defend police officers in carrying out their duties.

Lawyer Joe Brincat was defence counsel.

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