‘God is above everything and everybody’ – Attorney General in Realtà appeal

‘God is above everything and everybody’ – Attorney General in Realtà appeal

AG Peter Grech
AG Peter Grech

The appeal filed by the Attorney General against the verdict acquitting author Alex Vella Gera and the editor of a student pamphlet Mark Camilleri, is pushing the line that “God is certainly bigger than the biggest of egos of even more famous writers.”

In its lengthy 32-page appeal of the verdict of Magistrate Audrey Demicoli, who liberated the two accused of obscenity charges, the Attorney General argues that Vella Gera admitted to having written his short story Li Tkisser Sewwi “on impulse” and “without any form of self-censorship”.

“He was free to write what he wanted without self-censorship,” Attorney General Peter Grech states in the appeal. “But the author must realize there are others living with him, whose ideas, preferences and tastes are unlike his; a society that must be protected, and its morality preserved.

“And there’s God above everything and above everyone, and God is certainly bigger than the biggest of egos of even more famous writers.”

Grech specifically quotes Vella Gera’s statement to the court in which he says he wanted to give readers total immersion in his first-person monologue, narrated by a sex-driven man who treats women sordidly, “without any moralism, in the sense that I didn’t include the voice of God saying ‘look you’re going wrong’.”

What would otherwise be interpreted as the absence of a conscience in the controversial character of Li Tkisser Sewwi, the Attorney General states in his appeal that Vella Gera exhibited “the apex of individualistic views to the detriment of the common good, that is trampled upon by those who, in their anti-juridical and contorted interpretation of freedom of expression, try to expose and impose their ego and individualistic interests to the detriment of the innocent.”

The Attorney General will also ask the Court of Appeal to consider that Vella Gera’s work was not in the public interest; that the witnesses Lino Spiteri, Profs. Kenneth Wain, Albert Gatt, Ranier Fsadni, Maria Grech Ganado, Adrian Grima and Toni Attard – presented by the defence – were not court experts and therefore expressed their subjective opinion; and that the short story does not constitute “an instrument of spiritual elevation or aesthetic pleasure”.

A total of 12 pages are dedicated to a lengthy exposition of the juridical interpretation of pornography, and its treatment by American, British, and Italian courts.

The appeal was filed on Tuesday afternoon literally within minutes of the expiry of the deadline established by law: 15 days from notification of the sentence

Vella Gera and Camilleri were acquitted on Monday 14 March by Magistrate Audrey Demicoli, who noted in her judgment that the law did not provide clear definitions of ‘pornography’ and ‘obscenity’, and that the prosecution had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Article 208 of the Criminal Code had been breached.

She also observed that the defendants were exercising their fundamental right to freedom of expression.

The court also concluded that public morality was something that changed over time. It added that what offended public morals 20 or 30 years ago did not necessarily do so today.

Furthermore, the court added, the publication was available only to University and Junior College students, which it said were mature students who already had free access to a variety of media including books, newspapers and the internet.

The Labour party has condemned “the obscene decision” to appeal the acquittal.Labour MP Owen Bonnici says the appeal was made at the last minute, and that the government had sent a message that authors will be prosecuted in the Criminal Court and sent to prison for writing works of fiction.

“Government should see to the modernisation of our laws rather than persist in these draconian measures against the freedom of expression.”

The case goes back to 2009, when Camilleri and Vella Gera were separately charged with publishing and distributing pornographic and obscene material in the form of a short story titled Li Tkisser Sewwi, published in the left-wing student newspaper Ir-Realtà.

Reported to the police by the University Rector Juanito Camilleri – who also banned the paper from Campus grounds – the case sparked a raging debate on censorship and secularism.

Both Camilleri and the Vella Gera were accused of distributing obscene or pornographic material, and of undermining public morals or decency – under both the Criminal Code and the Press Act.

The story in question was first-person monologue narrated by a sex-driven Maltese man who objectified women and treated them in a sordid fashion. It also exposed his dilemma when being confronted with having feelings for one particular woman, and his inability to handle them.

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well 'consequences'. You think you know all the consequences. But the symptoms of incurable megalomania and terminal addiction to insolence are blinding you to the obvious. Your argument can be applied to all passengers in my van including those in for murder.
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Jon Sciberras
You know unintentionally you've made this book and the author a film star. What you didn't realise is that something that would have gone away naturally will now live on for generations, and you my weak minded fellow have made it happen.
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@justmeMT: Which personal attacks are you referring to?
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@justintime Quote: “And there’s God above everything and above everyone, and God is certainly bigger than the biggest of egos of even more famous writers.” Unquote: According to you the AG's job is simply to implement the legislation! Don't you think that his above quote is gratuitous? What legality has it?
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Helenio Galea
There may be a god but this is a secular state.
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@Justintime---Sur Professur lilek min qallek li il Maltin ghadhom ihhaddnu ir religjon Kristjana?? Hafna Maltin indunaw li religjon taghna saret business. Gesu ma kienx jghix go palazzi bid deheb izda go ghar. Hafna Maltin saru sekulari u jemmnu biss li hemm il qawwa tal kelma t' Alla. Il Knisja mghadhomx jemmnu fiha habib! All taghna il liberta kompleta, huwa il bniedem li dejjem prova jimmanipula il kelma t'Alla!!!!
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@Ganni Borg Actually I think you are completely mistaken.....The AG is just mentioning the fact that the vast majority of Maltese people believe in the existence of some form of god and that these people have the right to not have their feelings hurt....one must understand that the AG is not acting upon his personal beliefs but he is simply doing best for what he believes is best for Maltese society in general....If the AG were to act upon his personal interests he would have decided not to appeal the case and to avoid all the personal insults that he has received...but you must understand that people occupying such positions must act in public interest even if such acts do not necessarily represent personal interests....So Gianni Borg tell me...do u think the AG is enjoying all the insults that he has received ? Do you think that he did not predict that such a decision would have resulted in him being attacked personally? Do you think that he deserves the banter that he has received ? The AG is simply doing his job....and I personally admire him for standing up for what he believes is best for society and what he believes is best for the country...you have every right not to agree with him and I respect your opinion fully, but personally insulting a person who is simply doing his job is utterly out of place and such actions should be condemned to the full...One must realize that the AG had no personal interest in filing the appeal but the appeal was simply filed because the AG understands that he is hired by the government to ensure that legislations are followed and people who do not act in accordance to such legislations are penalised....such legislations do not express the opinion of a single person but such legislations define what us Maltese people deem to be right for our society...If you do not agree with the law then take it against the politicians that you choose to represent in parliament and not against the Attorney General whose job is simply to implement such legislations...
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Well said JustmeMT, couldn't have been said better. Thumbs up!
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@ justmeMT You said that "the AG has the responsibility to disregard his personal feelings and do his duty". The way I see it, he is doihg exactly the opposite. He has let his personal feelings (i.e. his religious beliefs) interfere with his duty as a public officer of a lay state where there is supposed separation between church and state. He is Malta's Attorney General, not God's.
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I think that all of you people have nothing better to do but attack people who are simply doing their jobs ! Dr. Grech has nothing personally to gain from this case and he is simply doing his job....If he believes that there is legal grounds on which he can take the case on then it is his duty to file an appeal...It is then up to the law courts to decide the case depending on what it believes is most just...Most of you people attacking the Attorney General have simply ridiculed yourselves by acting like experts in a field in which you definitely are not.... Also, 'listeppenwolf' the manner in which you speak is evidence of your sufficient lack of education...One cannot stoop any lower than personally attacking a person who is simply doing his job....From the point in which the case was presented to him upto now the AG has the responsibility to disregard his personal feelings and do his duty, even though he probably knew before taking the decision that he would be bombarded with ridiculous banter from a bunch of idiots like yourselves...Everybody must learn that legal decisions are made by judges and unless you people commenting here are judges I doubt you are in a position to be deciding cases
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@Avukatessa How any you enlighten someone whose mind is still suffocated by thick cobwebs of yesterday? The Age of Enlightenment has still to reach this island of ours. There is one thing that we surely excel in and this hypocrisy.
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I did bother to read your appeal. To begin with, I found it highly unprofessional that you did not even bother to use Maltese characters to produce a text in Maltese. Besides, I regret to notice that your knowledge of written Maltese is abysmal and unarguably unbecoming of an Attorney General. Shame. Your legal arguments fail to consider the literary context of the novella in question and also fail to appreciate to a satisfactory degree the views expressed by the literary experts. In fact your approach to the witnesses is plainly dismissive and the general tone used in their regard verges on contempt. Your appeal also fails to recognize the fact that legal professionals are not necessarily literary connoisseurs, and that hence it stands to reason that, at least to some extent, their judgements need to be buttressed by the expertise of competent academics. Unsurprisingly, your personal analysis of the novella in question also displays a stark ineptitude in literary criticism. Furthermore, none of your arguments, legal or otherwise, seem to be attuned with the moral and the social zeitgeist of our times. In fact, the judgement delivered by Magistrate Audrey was partially based on the observation that in our day and age such literary material has ceased to be deemed as offensive. I also deduce that such judgement constituted a timely and unequivocal call to emend our obscenity laws so as to avoid the future reoccurrence of similar legal charades. I suppose that, much akin to the infamous “Stitching” judgement, your appeal is specifically intended to prevent such a landmark legal precedent to take place. Your references to the Italian jurisprudence is also somewhat lacking, as it fails to consider that virtually none of the case law cited in your appeal had any tangible effect on the production and distribution of sexually explicit material in Italy. The Italian artistic scene is thankfully ripe with sexually explicit artists, including self-declared pornographers, who – notwithstanding all those pedant legal provisions in effect – have had little or no trouble with the law whatsoever. None of those archaic legal provisions you cited prevented a certain Tinto Brass from continuing to treat us with his exquisite buttocks and pudenda trademark shots, or averted Sicilian born writer Melissa Panarello from recounting her teenage wild fantasies about being routinely gangbanged till the point nausea. The tone your reference to name of the Holy Mary, and your overt irritation at the fact that the said name is often the subject of idiomatic blasphemy, suggest that your plea to have this judgement revoked is largely geared at conserving a quasi-theocratic legal regime through irreversibly obsolete legal means. Your invocation of God attests to your motivations even further. I am not exactly an atheist, but I am nonetheless of the view that whether there’s some anthropomorphic skygod lying above everything and everyone will always remain open to contention. In any case, however, I find it very absurd that anyone in his right mind should contend that he/she/it really necessitates the legal protection of the attorney general of tiny Malta. Kevin Saliba
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U nahseb li int bozza tal-elf fil-kritika letterarja sur david caruana! Kompli dahhaqni. Andy Farrugia alias
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Isabelle Borg
L-aqwa li nistgha nixtri il - PLAYBOY u mmur fil- gentleman's clubs. X'tahseb avukatessa?
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L-avukatessa, Ibqa' ghamel xogholok ta' avukatessa u l-letteratura (u l-kritika taghha) halliha ghal min jifhem filkaz. Il-lingwagg li intuza' fl-istorja 'Li Tkisser Sewwi' gie uzat apposta sabiex igieghel lin-nies jahsbu, kif filfatt ghamlet. Il-karattru huwa moqziez, l-awtru le. Anzi, l-awtur tefa' dawl qawwi fuq nies reali hafna li ghandhom l-istess mentalita' tal-karattru. Apparti minn hekk mess ukoll it-tema tal-kontracezzjoni. Kemm hu perikoluz li wiehed jigri ma' dik u ma' l-ohra minghajr ma juza protezzjoni? Il-karattru jaghmel dan u jiddiskrivijulna bl-iktar mod onest. Ghal AG m'ghandi xejn hlief l-iktar kliem u sentimenti ta' disprezz. Dan huwa "one of the highest lawyers of the State"?! Dan li jiggustifika azzjoni fuq xogholu skond alla tieghu?! Nispera li bhala avukatessa, jghaddilek minn mohhok li dan il-bniedem suppost qed jirraprezenta lil kull cittadin Malti, anke lil dak ateju, dak Hindu jew dak il-Malti Buddist - allura fehemni ftit kif dan jista' jsemmi lill-alla tieghu fuq kaz bhal dan.
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Joseph Caruana

@ Dr Peter Grech

From: Matthew Vella, editor

1. All comments made 'anonymously' on MaltaToday.com.mt are published as is our readers’ right to impart their opinion; a legal mind can surely appreciate that if they are published, this does not mean that the newspaper of the publisher associates itself with the opinions represented in these comments. Otherwise, we might also say that a newspaper associates itself with political statements made by all parties that get published...

2. There is a limit to the power of precis of a 32-page appeal and its legalese - but your Office is free to appoint a public spokesperson that will explain to the press the salient points of your appeals and publish them on the web. All your appeals.

3. Journalists are in their right to interpret the spirit of appeals and their salient features as they see fit as long as they are a factual and correct rendition of what they are talking about.

4. I invite you to explain the contents of your appeal on our website, in a blog you can send to me via email [email protected] which I will publish and give prominence. I will afford the same right to the defence in this case if they so wish.

5. I understand the comments on the website do not represent the civil banter of the courtroom and you are right to take umbrage at their lack of finesse. I have deleted some comments, but there is a difference between personal insults aimed at you and the free opinion being expressed on your Office and the work it does.

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Cara Avukatessa...pls, in your vast wisdom in the acts of law of Melitensia can you answer my questions below ..i.e( Why are you picking on a local guy with a pitiful "immoral" story when you can easily prosecute against all those using the net to launch profane language in various forums? Against those who launch multiple porn sites or are indirectly benefitting from them (which 'by coincidence' some who does happen to be well known locals occupying good government positions). And, cara avukatessa, values and morality are not only confined to adult books and profane litreture but also to lies, bigotry, abuse of power, for those inciting sin to impliment fear, for those preventing civil rights to solidify other monopolies...and the list goes on...If the AG believes in what he said (that God is above everything and everyone), then he should NOT have appealed to the first judgement. If the court found them not guilty in the first place, the AG should have left the immorality of those tow kids in the hands of the almighty GOD to decide their faith and not try to play God himself.
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@ L-avukatessa Your legal argument in affirming your support for the Attorney General's Office is absolutely as hollow and as demeaning as anyone can get. Nobody should adjudicate the substance of the story, because in real life good and bad stories are written all the time and most of them are never read. The real legal issue in this matter is whether the writer has a right to put his thoughts to paper and the answer is yes under the freedom of the press act that exists in all true democratic countries. Considering that in the first trial, the Courts rejected the AG litigation, it is a confirmation that Malta also endorses the freedom of the press. How sad that the judiciary is being put through an appeal and by having the legal profession like yourself writing in favour of these shenanigans, it certainly questions the capabilities of the whole legal system in an EU state that is enslaved by its faith and its questionable moral conscience.
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Dear Avukatessa I suggest you go back an re-read the story (if you read it at all, which I doubt) because you have obviously failed to understand what it is all about. The story, in brief, is about the despicable attitude certain men have about women. It shows how low some men can sink. Far from being degrading to women, it makes the point that men who treat them merely as sexual object are the lowest of the low. Go and read it again.
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Dear all, It seems from the below-stated comments that most of you disagree with the fact that the Attorney General appealed against the judgment delivered by the First Hall regarding the Vella Gera case and also with some of the substance of the appeal. Now, first of all, from a lawyer's perspective (most of you might not, after all, be legal practitioners) the AG had all the right to appeal against such a judgment. In doing so, he was only fulfilling his duties as one of the highest lawyers of the State and all this according to what the AG's office rightly believed was best in the PUBLIC INTEREST. I therefore find that such criticism could have been lodged without such disrespectful comments, especially bearing in mind the fact that the appeal was lodged and lodged in that particular way in order to prevent society from regressing rather than transgressing. Secondly, I can't understand why all this criticism has come about. This short story surely doesn't promote ideal values that are therefore in the public interest. I myself was shocked when I read the short story and fully agree with the AG's position in the case in question. If this is the type of story that you'd like to read, or the type of story that you'd like your children to read, you've got a right to your own opinion - however let the rest of us (possibly the majority of the Maltese population) who believe otherwise voice our opinion too and defend it in the best manner possible. I myself am religious and DO believe in God ... However personally I believe that religion plays a minor role in all this. Leaving our beliefs aside, it surely cannot be said that such a short story promotes values which the majority of the Maltese population believe lead Malta to a better and brighter future. How on earth can a short story narrated by a "SEX DRIVEN" Maltese man who "OBJECTIFIED" women and treated them in a SORDID fashion be beneficial to society? Please, enlighten me!
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@Peter Grech and the rest of the Medieval Malta Crusaders...Why are you picking on a local guy for writing this 'morally insulting' piece (always according to you?) Why dont you crusade against the vilified porn sites all over the internet which is available to all, not just university students, and also the obsene litreture you find on many online forums, and then also, the magazine playboy which is found on bookstore shelves and finally some special SEX TOYS that are sold over the counter in multiple gadget shops in "Holy" Malta?...Go and crusade against them too you cowards...and take the attorney general with you!!!! You are simply all... H-Y-P-O-C-R--I-T-S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Dear AG Peter Grech Even though I found it admirable of you to post your personal comments I honestly feel your grounds for an appeal of the verdict , as well as the obscenity charges in the first place , and the comment you left here still leaves one unconvinced and dissimilar . Too many comments here have been exaggerated however you must accept constructive criticism for the way you have reprimanded an art-form and the overly magnified moral and spiritual conclusions.
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Here is today's special sermon in honour of the Grand Inquisitor's holy appeal. Nothing like a bit of Biblical stories to take our minds off that nasty magazine Ir-Realta. . Judges 19:25-29 But the men would not listen to him. So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight. When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. He said to her, “Get up; let’s go.” But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home. When he reached home, he took a knife and cut up his concubine, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them into all the areas of Israel. . http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges%2019:25-29&version=NIV . The difference between the passage above and Li Tkisser Sewwi is that the man spoken of above is THE GOOD GUY! Yep, that's right. He's God's man through and through, a Levite who had just spent almost an entire week enjoying the hospitality of the concubine's parents while trying to persuade the concubine to leave them and accompany him. And the men who raped his concubine to death... why they were God's people too! In fact the man had explicitly refused to stop at Jebus because the Jebusites were not Israelites... they weren't holy enough. . This is a book that parents ENCOURAGE their children to read. . I just cannot fathom how people can read passages like the above and still uphold it as a source of MORALITY!
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This all shows how mediocre and retrograde the law courses at our university are. I bet, and I don't want to sound anti clerical-that most of the Law lecturers are priests or WANNE BE priests, who knows what jizzpach the students are fed? I have some lawyer friends, and to tell you the truth, they only quote books that they've read at the sixth form, or books which they have studied (by heart) on the University desk.
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In another section of the press, we read that Dr Grech lectures on ‘media law and freedom of expression’ at the University. One wonders whether he has ever regaled his students with the famous quote from George Orwell that “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” Perhaps hr regaled them with the more recent Salman Rushdie aphorism that asks, “What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist." Maybe he asked them to comment on John Stuart Mill “ If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind”. But perhaps Dr Grech is one of those lecturers who think that real life and lecture rooms are separate universes
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And I thought that MALTA in the year 2011 after the coming of Jesus Christ was a secular country. It became so in 1974 when it became a Republic. The division between church and state is enshrined in our Constitution was and agreed upon by the majority of members of parliament. Who said that God is not above everyone? What has this got to do with the whole issue? But then I forgot that we still live in the era of the Inquisition where many innocent people were tortured and burnt to the stake thanks to the tyranny of the Roman Catholic Church!
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Dear Dr Grech, Since you have sen fit to participate in the debate on these pages, perhaps you could answer the following all-important question: Can you assure the Maltese people that this appeal was your own initiative, and you were not simply following orders from some "higher authority" (and I don't mean God)
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Dear Attorney General, while dissociating myself from the frivolous anti-religious banter below, I must inform you that you completely misunderstood (willfully or not I have no way of knowing) my reference to "god" in my witness, which you chose to quote in your appeal. I was referring there to the God-like point of view in a narrative, where everything is certain, and the protagonist of the story would be throughly condemned in the text itself, unlike in Li Tkisser Sewwi where the condemnation is left to the unreliable narrator himself, as so ably described by Adrian Grima as "jinqela' f'zejtu". My reference to god had nothing at all to do with the divine God-head, Christian or otherwise. Perhaps a crash course in literary criticism would help you along somewhat. The fact that you jumped so readily onto that point does seem to suggest a knee jerk reaction and thoroughly deserves ridicule. The same goes for your rather selective quoting from Ranier Fsadni's witness. Besides saying the story was a failure, Mr Fsadni also insisted it was a necessary experiment (I'm paraphrasing). Necessary for Maltese literature I might add. Regards, Alex Vella Gera
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Dear Editor, The above article, and the supporting comments and personal insults by supposedly numerous but anonymous contributors, which you have chosen to publish and leave published -and therefore with which I assume you have fully associated yourself- convey the impression that the appeal filed by the Office of the Attorney General in the ‘Li Tkisser Sewwi’ cases is based on religious rather than legal arguments. Anyone who cares to read the appeals will realise that this interpretation is not at all objectively justified and represents a very one sided view bent more on constructing a platform for treatment to insult, ridicule and contempt rather than on any real interest in informing the public about the true grounds of appeal. As to the references to God, these were first made in what appears to be a rather capricious manner in evidence tendered by the defence and the submissions made on this evidence in the appeal aim at making the point that most people in our society believe in a God, that they have a right not to be insulted or treated to ridicule for believing and that religious belief is a much more important reality and element in shaping what constitutes public morality than the egos of individual writers – be they of the all-knowing, all arrogant breed or otherwise.. Another point which your article and some comments referred to therein appears to have slightly overlooked about these cases is the element of free distribution of the work in question to young persons.. It would certainly not appear to be at all reasonable to conclude that any work that may be published may also be distributed free of charge to young persons and it would do no disservice to your readers if some more information were to be given on this aspect of the appeal. Peter Grech Attorney General
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Dear Martin Borg, You commented on the phallic monument erected in Luqa, and hinted at the inappropriateness of it being on the pope's route when he dropped by some time ago. May I remind you that the pope's troubles do not stem from one big penis, but from a large number of tiny prepubescent ones. When it comes to personal beliefs, I hope that the AG realises that not everybody worships the same god. So please be explicit and identify the god being referred to. Is it the Latin one Deus, his Greek counterpart Zeus or the Islamic one Allah? Or the oriental four armed Vishnu or the happy and laughing (but morbidly obese) Budai? Maybe the Norse hammer-wielding Thor or the Nailed to a wooden cross Christ. (I am not pointing fingers here). This clarification will make it clear as to which believers the AG is representing. This will inevitably bring to mind those that although do believe in god, they just don't trust anybody who claims to work for him/her/them. Moreover, some people even doubt the existence of a god. These are a god-sent, as, god willing, they can be assumed to require no representation. On another note, an anagram for the letters in 'ATTORNEY GENERAL' is 'NOT A REALTY GENRE' (hmmm... maybe god exists after all)
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Dear Martin Borg, You commented on the phallic monument erected in Luqa, and hinted at the inappropriateness of it being on the pope's route when he dropped by some time ago. May I remind you that the pope's troubles do not stem from one big penis, but from a large number of tiny prepubescent ones. When it comes to personal beliefs, I hope that the AG realises that not everybody worships the same god. So please be explicit and identify the god being referred to. Is it the Latin one Deus, his Greek counterpart Zeus or the Islamic one Allah? Or the oriental four armed Vishnu or the happy and laughing (but morbidly obese) Budai? Maybe the Norse hammer-wielding Thor or the Nailed to a wooden cross Christ. (I am not pointing fingers here). This clarification will make it clear as to which believers the AG is representing. This will inevitably bring to mind those that although do believe in god, they just don't trust anybody who claims to work for him/her/them. Moreover, some people even doubt the existence of a god. These are a god-sent, as, god willing, they can be assumed to require no representation. On another note, an anagram for the letters in is (hmmm... maybe god exists after all)
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Sammy Cutajar
What a sad little man the AG is? Who is he to say that the author ‘must realise God is above everything and everyone.’ What his god have to do with this? Look how our money is spent?
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why may I ask the AG did not take any action against the penis/phallus at Luqa roundabout infrony of the ex-mambra? If he is so sensitive to obcenities as he calls them why after all this time that penis is still challengingly sticking up. Not to mention it is on the road from the aitport to Qormi where not so long ago His Holiness the Pope passed by. Hypocrites.
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Aww Ginger, tista' tghidilna meta wiehed ikollu claim ghand ta' l-insurance u biex ma jhallsux jghidu li l-incident kien 'an act of God' x'nisthgu naghmlu biex inkunu kompensati?
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I cannot believe what I am reading about the appeal. Where did these people get their legal training from. If the University of Malta, it is high time that an incoming government turns this institution upside down. So "the Attorney General argues that Vella Gera admitted to having written his short story Li Tkisser Sewwi “on impulse” and “without any form of self-censorship”. Who cares what the author's motives were? It should be decided subjectively. And why should he self-censor himself? Have they not heard of the outcome of a similar case surrounding Ginsberg's HOWL! I hate to say it but Malta's august institutions - all of them - need a complete overhaul and the conservatives thrown out.
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Ok, I see. So the AG obviously plans to call god himself as a witness on behalf of the prosecution case. I wonder where he sends the subpoena? The Vatican? The local Curia maybe (for of course god is Maltese). If somehow he doesn't quite track god down, maybe he plans to provide incontrovertible proof of his (her?) existence. Proper legal, beyond reasonable doubt proof, none of Thomas Equinas's postulations.. But if I were the AG, I would avoid the inevitable failure in tracking down my chief witness. I'd put my resignation in the post and depart before I become even more of a laughing stock. For there is no way that the supposedly top legal brain in the government can survive this patent nonsense.
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An other 'holier than thou' Taliban in Maltastan?
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Ok, Mr. attorney general, let's for a moment assume god does exist. Why not get out of the way and let him take care of those guys then? So, that was easy. Now I can't help thinking what an ego you must have to claim to know god's mind. But, maybe you do know god's mind. A unique opportunity for me to ask you a simple clarification; I've been told god is omnipotent and a loving god. So could you, knowing god's mind, explain why innocent toddlers must suffer from leukaemia? Until you do so satisfactory, I'll continue to be 99% sure that god does not exist and 1% sure that he is a psychopath.
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Mauro Miceli
Which god (purposely no caps for god) does the AG purport to represent? and what on earth has god got to do with the article in question? If this is the quality of mind that is supposed to defend our society from criminals then we really need a god to help us all. What a load of rubbish from the man who is supposed to be the chief prosecutor in the country.
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duncan abela
I would like to associate myself with the Labour party in condemning this scandalous decision to appeal the sentence in the caqmilleri/vella gera censorship case. Coming as it did on the eve of "Jum il-helsien" irt make it more ironic for when it comes to our liberation from the old fusty confessional values we still have to wait for our day of secularist liberation. Whilst I respect those who believe in a supreme God as a humanist I cannot tolerate that such religious beliefs be brought in the argument of what should be our permissable moral values and modes of behaviour in a secular state. It is interesting to know what the European court of justice would say about human rights of the defendant and such a form of prosecution argument. iCan anyone enlighten me what is the Catholic equivalent of Sharia law which our AG seems to have followed or been pressurised to practice.
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vincent carbonaro
How about God intervenes then?
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What bull. And if you do not believe in God? Am i compelled to a theocracy that imposes god and god's rules on me? Wow!!! This is no better than the theocracy state in Iran! Do these people live in the real world? Click on the Internet and you can access stories far more sordid than this - by gosh, this is mild compared to the staff we can freely find over the Internet. Grow up and let people live according to their values!
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Isabelle Borg
U Nergu ndahlu l'Alla fin- nofs. Ma nifilhux naqaw ghan nejk izjed.
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Godfrey Grech
How much has this case cost the taxpayer so far in terms of AG office staff, and magistrate and other court personnel time? And more's to come. But who cares, it's the taxpayer who foots the bill. Imbaghad nitkazaw ghax naraw xi zewg haddiema tal-gvern jistriehu fuq pala ma jghamlu xejn.
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When the hearing beings we should be there and protest for our freedom!
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Gietni ideja: ghax ma naqqbdux lill-fundamentalisti kollha (ex-Presidenti, Isqfijiet, il-Prim Ministru u l-Kabinett kollu, membri parlamentari ultra-religjuzi, qassissin u partrijiet, sorijiet, xjuh zmagati u maghhom l-Attorney General u nies ohra li ghalihom il-fissazzjoni religjuza tigi qabel kollox), inpogguhom fuq ajruplan u nibghatuhom l-Afghanistan jew l-Iran. Forsi mbghad dan il-pajjiz ma jibqax pajjiz tal-Mickey Mouse.
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Kif qed tintela' fil-fundamentalisti din il-bicca blata! Tafu x'qed tghidu, jew?!! U jekk jghogobkom iggibbux stampi ta' nies bit-testikoli mperrcin ghax taghtu xi skandlu lill-Attorney General!
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To whom it may concern ! Is it money the name of GOD ? Is it power the name of GOD? Is it morality the name of GOD? Is it lies the name of GOD? Is it Political discrimination, the name of GOD? Is it democracy the name of GOD? Is it Justice the name of GOD? Or is it The mighty Human Rights, the name of GOD?
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Freedom of speech means freedom of f***ing speech buddy, don't touch it. These attempts to create a Christian Disneyland in Malta are both oppressive and upsetting. We do not need protecting and we do not need stifling. This Maltese variety of 'free speech lite' is shameful and anachronistic, and the term public decency is a sham argument that's becoming nothing more than a rallying cry for frustrated people who enjoy controversial art. Shame on the AG for failing to uphold individual rights, and shame on Maltese censorship laws for forbidding freedom of expression and thought.
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'We should not be ashamed to be the only backward looking country in Europe'! Its no wonder young people are leaving the Church in droves! GonziPN is in cohorts with the backward looking, medieval, cobweb filled Church! Otherwise the AG wouold not have appealed!
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This is unbelievable. I guess that the Attorney General will have to prove scientifically the existence of God and that God is above everything and everybody. On top of that the AG will have to prove that God told him that what Vella Gera wrote was immoral and pornographic. When you feel that we have reached the bottom of ansurdity something crops up to make us sink even further.
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With Commissioner of Police, Attorney General, University Rector, some Ministers, ex-Presidents and Prime Minister like we have been lumped with here........... guess the Vitican City can be regared as Sodom or Gamorrah!
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EH? is this a joke of the 1st of April? Lollllllllllllll I don't need to hear anymore of how this country is being run:) I had enough now l-ixkubetta fiha l-grillu , u kulhadd jaghmel li jaqbillu Dik l-ahjar haga, mur oqghod jew prova irrgauna lollllllllllllllllllllllllll
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Joseph Sant
I can't believe what I have just been reading. Religious fundamentalism in this country is reaching frightening and dangerous proportions. Off with their heads says the AG - burn the heretics at the stake!
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Given licence this guy would be worse than the Taliban who destroyed works of art in Afghanistan he would destroy completely Pompei with its erotic murals and Khajuraho Temple in India which portrays much the same. Obscenety is in the mind of the beholder , I say.
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Qed nitkellmu dwar il-ligi civili li fiha l-passi li huma ghal kull naha li tkun resqet il-qorti. Jekk qed nitkellmu dwar is-sess, wiehed nahseb li ghandu jaghti kaz l-eta li fiha wiehed qieghed jikteb u ghal min. Li noqghodu nghidu li biex inhossuna liberi kollox u ghal kulhadd irid jghaddi ma taghmelx l-ebda sens civiku. Kull darba hawn min idahhal ir-religjon. Ir-religjon qeghda hemm u l-gwida ghal min irid jemmen hi hafna drabi cara. Dan il-kaz ma ghandha x'taqsam xejn ir-religjon, la l-isqof ma tkellem jew resaq il-qorti u l-anqas l-ebda religjuz. Dan hu kaz tal-ligi civili li qeghda hemm biex tirrispetta u tigi rrispettata minn kull cittadin. Jien bhala missier (u ma tantx jien religjuz f'din) ma nemminx li kellhom iqassmu dan l-artiklu lit-tifla ta 16. Jekk trid tara xi haga hekk u tfittixha hi la jien nghallimha affari taghha imma li xi hadd jinqeda b'rivista biex jaghtiha dan l-artiklu x'taqra dan jien nghidlu abbuz. Jekk irid jaghtih lit-tfal tieghu ma nindahalx imma lit-tifla tieghi nhoss li l-pajjiz ghandu jiehu hsieb li hadd ma jitmaghha dan it-tip ta sess. Naturalment sta ghal qorti u ghal kull naha biex tipprova l-argument pero ghalija sew ghamlu li appellaw la l-ligi tipprovdi hekk.
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what a ridiculous little country !! as far as i'm aware the AG's role is to represent the STATE and provide legal advice to the STATE.... whatever happened to the seperation of state and religion ?? ....."God is above everything and everyone" - please !! give me a break......open your mind, read a science book or two. then, if you still decide to believe in a God, or in an invisible pink unicorn, or in a golden teapot or whatever....that's entirely up to you.....but voice that opinion at home with your buddys...not in the name of your office because it offends the minority of us who choose not to believe in your God. respect that choice...you're not any tom dick and harry, you're the AG !!
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Kieku ALLA jinzel Malta nahseb ikun l-ewwel wiehed illi jkun irid jehles mill-AG u bella kumpanija bhalu illi f'daqqa wahda saru juzaw Ismu biex juru kemm huma nies twajjba, qaddisin u bla tebgha...(inkluz il-PM). Nahseb l-AG ahjar idur dawra madwaru u jara ftit il-korruzzjoni istituzzjonalizzata illi ghandna milli jahli l-hin fuq dawn ic-cucati. Ara veru ghandu l-hin x'jahli..Jekk kull pagna tehodlok 30 minuta biex tikteb u tahseb fuq l-appell mela 32 pagna gew 16 il-siegha...jumejn xoghol misruqin mit-taxxi taghna fuq ic-cucati...jew aljenazzjoni!!
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Will someone please get rid of this neanderthal? The choice of believing in imaginary fairy-kings in the sky is up to the individual, not for the courts to enforce.
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Keith Goodlip
God? Invented by man his own image. OK AG, just show us WHERE your god decried freedom of expression, or are you living a life in a fantasy land of your OWN invention.
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Back to the Past! Do you remember all the PN's crocodile's tears about liberty and freedom in the 80's? It was meant simple and solely to win power; now that they have it, they abuse it! Real liberals are an endangered species under GonziPN.I pity those liberals that are not well off; I mean go off to Italy and you can write what you like, see what you like and, all this within the precints of the Vatican itself . One can even get divorced abroad and, automatically, get this divorce approved by the Maltese State:but only if you can afford it! Long live the Liberal Party of Malta ...the PN! Yups! Then, for the really selected few, there the nnulments ; not one,not two, but three! Who needs divorce?
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Pajjiż medjevali fl-Ewropa. Dan il-gvern qed jitfa' lil Malta 50 sena lura. Verament għandna bżonn gvern progressiv u modern u malajr.
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Why dosen't the attorney general protect us all from this Devil by banning internet, and remove all satellite dishes from Malta. Also publications such as Play boy should not be allowed in Malta. Would it be perhaps because Go and Vodafone are making money and the country is gaining taxes. But shouldn't God be above this earnings aswell. Money talk Dirty talk. The Government in Malta with this appeal is telling us one simple thing We wanted to join EU not for the Maltese to be part of EU culture but for other intentions. What are they?.... HMMMMMMMMMMM got some ideas but ......... Malta made a referendum where the majority wanted to join EU now Government should respect that and integrate us into european culture where freedom of expressions are a must. Is malta the Libia of Europe what?