Wrongly jailed fa­ther wants Chief Jus­tice to re­cuse him­self in new case claim­ing breach of rights

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Neil Camil­leri

The Con­sti­tu­tional Court yes­ter­day started hear­ing a case filed by Em­manuel Camil­leri – the man who had been wrongly jailed for 400 days – against the Of­fice of the At­tor­ney Gen­eral, the Po­lice Com­mis­sioner and In­spec­tor Louise Calleja, in which he is claim­ing that his fun­da­men­tal rights were breached.

Mr Camil­leri had served 400 days from a two-year prison sen­tence af­ter he was found guilty of sex­u­ally abus­ing his daugh­ter. It later emerged that his daugh­ter had in­vented the whole thing un­der pres­sure from her mother (Camil­leri’s es­tranged wife). He had orig­i­nally been found guilty in 2011 and the sen­tence was con­firmed on ap­peal in May 2015. In­spec­tor Calleja had pros­e­cuted.

When the daugh­ter’s per­jury came to light, Mr Camil­leri was re­leased on an in­terim mea­sure but his sen­tence re­mained ef­fec­tive. In Septem­ber of this year a court can­celled the sen­tence and or­dered the re­moval of Mr Camil­leri’s name from the sex of­fend­ers reg­is­ter. How­ever it found that there was no breach of hu­man rights.

In the new case, lawyer To­nio Az­zopardi, who is ap­pear­ing for Mr Camil­leri, re­quested that Mr Jus­tice Sil­vio Camil­leri re­cuse him­self since he was the At­tor­ney Gen­eral when the orig­i­nal pro­ceed­ings against Mr Camil­leri started in 2010.

The AG, the Po­lice Com­mis­sioner and In­spec­tor Calleja ob­jected, say­ing that Dr Sil­vio Camil­leri, as At­tor­ney Gen­eral, had never come in di­rect con­tact with the case.

Dr Kath­leen Grima, ap­pear­ing for In­spec­tor Calleja, said the pros­e­cut­ing of­fi­cer had taken le­gal ad­vice from the At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s Of­fice but never from the AG per­son­ally.

But Dr Az­zopardi said there was no guar­an­tee that the Chief Jus­tice (in his for­mer role as AG) had never been con­sulted on the case.

The Chief Jus­tice said he could not re­call hav­ing ever been con­sulted on the case. If things were dif­fer­ent he would have ab­stained from hear­ing the case.

Lawyers Vic­to­ria But­tigieg and Sarah Portelli are ap­pear­ing for the At­tor­ney Gen­eral and Po­lice Com­mis­sioner re­spec­tively. Lawyers Arthur Az­zopardi and Kath­leen Grima are ap­pear­ing for In­spec­tor Calleja.

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