Labour Party mum on Xgħajra mayor’s harassment conviction

Xgħajra mayor Neil Attard was found guilty of harassing his former girlfriend, sending her some 46,000 Facebook messages and yet the Labour Party has taken no stand on his position within the party

Neil Attard's Facebook advert from the 2019 local council election campaign
Neil Attard's Facebook advert from the 2019 local council election campaign

The Labour Party is refusing to comment on Xgħajra mayor, Neil Attard’s position within the party, after a criminal court convicted him of harassing his former girlfriend.

A court found Attard guilty of harassing his ex-girlfriend by sending her some 46,000 Facebook messages in 2015.

A number of questions sent to the PL, asking whether Attard’s position was still tenable given the conviction, remained unanswered despite several reminders.

Attard's continued presence as a Labour representative within the Xgħajra council flies in the face of the government's drive to criminalise cyberbullying and cyber harassment.

Attard, 39, who at the time of the incident was deputy mayor, had been charged with misuse of electronic telecommunications equipment in one case and with making threats through an electronic telecommunications network in the other. He was also accused of harassment and committing further offences whilst under a suspended sentence.

He was acquitted of threatening his then girlfriend and of misusing telecommunications equipment, but the court found him guilty of harassment and bound the accused under a €2,000 guarantee not to contact the woman or her estranged husband for one year.

In a status on Facebook, following the MaltaToday report of the court judgment, Attard hit out at the newspaper, defending his record and calling the report “shameful”.

“After a seven-year saga in court, last week I was liberated from five accusations. I don’t like playing the victim however I have just gone through a very bad trauma, along with my family after my father’s death,” he wrote. “The report is misleading and it only does damage. This is another shock for my mum. You should be ashamed of yourself, if you know how.”

Attard made no mention of the conviction.