A courtroom was stunned as a domestic violence indictment ended with defense attorney shouting at the prosecution and civil parte for bringing the victim to the audience before storming out.
The 42-year-old defendant, who is not named to protect his alleged victim, has pleaded not guilty to charges of harassing his wife, limiting her access to money, education or employment. He was also accused of insulting and threatening the woman, of restraining her against her will and of assaulting her on August 1 of this year.
Before magistrate Yana Micallef Stafrace, the man pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. Defense attorney, attorney Mario Mifsud, has requested bail.
Inspector Audrey Micallef, prosecuting, opposed the request, citing the risk that it will falsify evidence and the seriousness of the charges.
Mifsud gave an impassioned speech, pleading for bail. “I don’t take anything away from the seriousness of the accusations, but in any case, there is seriousness. If the woman lives in Qormi, I expect him to stay away from Qormi. Thus, to the extent that witnesses are involved, if he calls or approaches her, the inspector would be informed and proceedings against him would be initiated.
“I think he should be released on bail,” the lawyer said, citing two recent cases in which he said people had been held in pre-trial detention for a long time, for nothing. “He has learned his lesson and is terrified. The marriage will be civilly dissolved if necessary.
“If we put him in jail, he will lose his job and his problems will get worse, not lessened,” the lawyer said, reminding his client that a protection order is severely punished for violation.
But the sitting turned into chaos after civil party lawyer Emmy Bezzina addressed the court, telling the magistrate the woman had sought his help over the past year.
“She and her daughter are terrified,” Bezzina said. “He refused to attend the mediation …”, began the lawyer, before being interrupted by a suddenly enraged Mifsud who shouted at the lawyer “you do not have standing to act free on bail!
Inspector Micallef, succeeded Bezzina, telling the court that during his questioning, the man showed a lack of awareness of having done something wrong.
The two lawyers continued to bicker in the background. At one point, Mifsud yelled “M’ghandekx locus standi Emmy, filkaz mur tkellem fuq il PBS!” (You can’t go to court, Emmy, why don’t you go talk about it on PBS? ”
“You and the inspector should be ashamed of bringing the victim here!” She should have been called to testify by videoconference, ”Mifsud said as he left the courtroom.
Bail was denied shortly thereafter, and Mifsud stormed into the courtroom shouting, “Now bloodsucking lawyers are coming and bail him out!” “