The Malta Independent 22 July 2019, Monday

People have a right to express themselves without getting hurt, magistrate says

Tuesday, 2 April 2019, 14:23 Last update: about 5 months ago

A court has imposed protection orders in favour of blogger Manuel Delia and his wife Clemence Dujardin after a man and woman were charged with threatening and assaulting Dujardin in Valletta last December.

Paul Cassar, 59, and Helen Cutajar, 58 appeared before magistrate Joe Mifsud this morning on charges of threatening and insulting Dujardin on 13 December at 2.45pm. Cassar alone was also accused of assault and criminal damage, having smashed Dujardin’s mobile phone for filming the attack.

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In court today, magistrate Mifsud said, more than once, that people have a right to express themselves without getting hurt.

The accused appeared unperturbed as they stood in the dock, even as they were warned that the charges carried a maximum punishment of 5 months imprisonment.

Cassar and Cutajar pleaded guilty to the charges.

The magistrate ordered the parties to settle the damages before proceeding to judgment.

Cutajar was admonished and reprimanded, whilst Cassar was handed a conditional discharge.

“You should never have gotten to this stage,” remarked the magistrate to the guilty pair. “They have a right to express themselves as do you. That is the beauty of our country - that we don’t agree but we get along.”

The magistrate asked the parties to shake hands, but was told by lawyer Andrew Borg Cardona, appearing parte civile for the injured party, that it was too soon for this. At this stage it would be “better to exchange greetings and stop there today,” he said.

Inspector Priscilla Caruana Lee prosecuted. Lawyer Dustin Camilleri was defence counsel.

 

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