The Malta Independent 26 May 2019, Sunday

‘Most shocking’, inspector says: Three men charged with gang raping vulnerable woman

Tuesday, 14 May 2019, 13:59 Last update: about 11 days ago

Three men from Siggiewi aged between 22 and 25 have been remanded in custody on charges of gang raping a vulnerable young woman.

The men whose names are being withheld on the orders of the court to avoid the identification of the victim are understood to have committed the crimes in Zebbug in June last year.

Police Vice Squad Inspector John Spiteri told the court that this was one of the most shocking cases he had ever dealt with.

ADVERTISEMENT

The woman had first revealed that the brother of one of the accused had sexually abused her and the man then had been charged. But as the next court date approached, when her parents were cautioning her to tell the whole truth on the witness stand, she blurted out the fact that she had been gang-raped multiple times by the accused men. The men would allegedly tie the 20 year-old woman up in a field and abuse her, sources say.

The men, two students and a fast food outlet employee, all pleaded not guilty this afternoon before magistrate Doreen Clarke.

Two of the accused did not request bail. The third was represented by defence lawyer Leslie Cuschieri, who told the court that his client, a 23-year-old student, had intellectual disabilities. He asked for bail to allow the man to go abroad on an educational course. 

Inspector Spiteri opposed the request, however, saying that the accused’s brother had been arraigned a month ago on similar charges and it appears that there was an attempt to destroy evidence. He was also charged with committing the crime during the operative period of a suspended sentence, pointed out the inspector.

Defence lawyer Stefano Filletti asked for the ban on the publication of the name of the accused, arguing that such cases arouse a lot of public interest and the fact that he is innocent until proven guilty is lost on the media and public. “His life will be ruined by the publication of his name. It is of no benefit to him, the victim or anyone else,” he said.

One of the victim’s lawyers, Arthur Azzopardi, also asked for a ban on publication, but for the reason that the victim would easily be identified as she was part of the men’s friends. The court upheld the requests.

The court, in view of the gravity of the crimes alleged and the possibility of tampering with evidence, denied all three men bail.

Inspectors John Spiteri and Kylie Borg are prosecuting.

Lawyers Stefano Filletti, Stephen Tonna Lowell, Leslie Cuschieri and Roberto Montalto are appearing for the accused men.

Lawyers Arthur Azzopardi and Alfred Abela appeared for the victim and her family.

 

 

  • don't miss