Parliamentary committee approves legal amendment over minimum prison term

The amendment means that magistrates are no longer obliged to hand down a five-year jail term in cases of involuntary homicide with more than one victim

Involuntary homicide with more than one victim will no longer automatically result in a five-year prison sentence
Involuntary homicide with more than one victim will no longer automatically result in a five-year prison sentence

An amendment to the criminal code to remove the minimum of a five-year prison sentence in cases of involuntary homicide with more than one victim was approved by the parliamentary committee for the consideration of bills on Monday night.

The amendment means that magistrates presiding over such cases will no longer have their hands tied, and will no longer be obliged to hand down a five-year sentence.

The amendment comes after 27,019 signatures were collected over a two-week period, calling for the amendment, following a case which saw a 34-year Dorianne Camilleri sentenced to five-years in prison over the involuntary killing of Alfred Zahra and grievously injuring his elderly sister in a 2011 traffic accident.

The petition was presented to speaker Anglu Farrugia by Labour MP Luciano Busuttil and Opposition MP Antoine Borg and an amendment was moved in parliament by Justice Minister Owen Bonnici.

The decision sparked public uproar, with many insisting Camilleri did not deserve to spend five years in jail over an accident that was not her fault.

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