The Malta Independent 21 September 2021, Tuesday

Cyrus Engerer guilty of circulating pornography; can still contest EP election

Malta Independent Thursday, 8 May 2014, 14:18 Last update: about 8 years ago

Labour MEP candidate Cyrus Engerer was given a two-year jail sentence, suspended for two years, for distributing pornographic material.

The sentence was handed down by Mr Justice Michael Mallia, in the criminal appeals court, following an appeal by the attorney general to a Magistrate’s court acquittal on the ground of lack of sufficient proof that Engerer had offended his partner, Marvic Camilleri.

Mr Justice Mallia found Engerer guilty of keeping or circulated pornography and of having maliciously used a computer to copy data, and of ridiculing a male person. The court said there was enough proof which showed that Engerer was the author and brains behind the dissemination of photographs on the internet to the detriment of the victim.

The case goes back over two years when extensive media publicity was created after the police arraigned the accused on offences committed in January 2012. Engerer’s former partner was found to be right in alleging that Engerer had disseminated compromising photographs to his work mates. After being acquitted by the first court, Engerer had said the court had found him not guilty of all charges against him, in a case opened two years ago, just days after he joined the Labour Party.

He added that the acquittal had ended years of attacks and unfounded charges against him and members of his family, made because he had stood up to those who put their interests above the interests of the country.

Mr Justice Mallia said that the attorney general was right to appeal the sentence and that the police had acted correctly in arraigning Engerer, who has been banned from approaching Marvic Camilleri or his family for a year.

Mr Justice Mallia said the court had considered the fact that Engerer had had a relationship with Marvic Camilleri for some years, and they lived together at Camilleri’s house in Lion Street, Floriana. The relationship was ended at Christmas in 2009.

Some time later the employees of SAK Ltd, which operates under the Body Shop brand name, where Marvic Camilleri works, started received email pictures from [email protected] showing Camilleri in compromising and embarrassing positions.

Camilleri reported to the Cybercrime Unit police who found that the email had been created on 29 December, 2009 and from that date to 15 Jauary, 2010 the email address had been accessed from different places, by different sources and on various occasions. The victim reported to the police that he was suspecting Cyrus Engerer, who wanted to take revenge for the relationship being called off.

Engerer had refused to answer police questions about Camilleri’s allegations, but confirmed he had had a relationship with him. The appeals court said the proof led to the one conclusion that it was Engerer who created the email address and sent the photographs to Marvic Camilleri’s employer.

The email was also accessed at GasanMamo’s office in Rabat, where Rita Alamango, a friend of Engerer’s, works. She testified that Engerer used to visit her office and as she had a long midday break they used to go out for lunch together, and Engerer used to use the office computer.

The court said that Engerer had also told Camilleri he had better call off the case because things could come out which would embarrass Camilleri himself. The threat was turned into reality when the defence exhibited a pen drive which contained material allegedly lifted by Engerer.

The court said this showed to what lengths Engerer had gone to slur the victim.

Mr Engerer can still contest the upcoming EP election after the electoral law was amended earlier this year to allow persons serving a suspended sentence to contest and vote in elections. Before the amendments, anyone serving a suspended sentence of more than twelve months could not contest or vote. 

When contacted by The Malta Independent an hour after the news had spread on news portals and asked what steps the party will be taking against Mr Engerer, Labour Party deputy leader Toni Abela said he did not know about the judgment and asked for the TMI journalists for more information. He then requested questions to be sent by email.

Outgoing Labour MEP Claudette Abela Baldacchino is not contesting the EP election because of a pending court case.

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