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MW 13 September 2017

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2 maltatoday, WEDNESDAY, 13 SEPTEMBER 2017 News Civil servant charged with defiling his infant children suspended MIRIAM DALLI A civil servant who last week was charged in court with cor- ruption of minors has been sus- pended from work, MaltaToday has learnt. The father, 33, and his wife are both pleading not guilty to charg- es of corruption of minors and producing, possessing or distrib- uting, indecent images of their children. The man is also accused of causing his three-year-old son to live in fear of violence. MaltaToday is informed that the man is a principal with the public service. "The officer in question is cur- rently suspended," the Office of the Principal Permanent Secre- tary confirmed with MaltaToday. The Office explained that, in such cases where a civil servant is facing criminal proceedings, an established procedure unfolds where the public officer is dis- ciplined according to the disci- plinary procedures of the Public Service Commission. This in- cludes suspension on half pay. This is not the first time that the PSC had to take action against public officers facing criminal pro- ceedings. According to the most recent report published for the year 2015, the Commission had 53 rec- ommendations to give, which in- cluded the temporary suspension of 20 public officers pending out- come of criminal court cases. In 13 other cases involving criminal pro- ceedings, the employees concerned were acquitted. News of the court arraignment of the young Birkirkara couple sent shockwaves across the Mal- tese community, as the prosecut- ing inspector stated: "This is child porn that was not downloaded off the internet but taken by the ac- cused of their own children." According to the reports that emerged from court, the couple were found in possession of over 70 photos and videos showing their children, aged just 3-and- a-half and a year and a half, touching the their father's private parts, showering together with their parents and other nudity in a domestic setting. Police inspector Joseph Busuttil explained that, in the majority of photos, the father was naked with the children. He also said that the mother and father would take turns to shoot indecent photo- graphs and videos of themselves with the children. Alfred Sant abstains in EP vote approving Busuttil's nomination to EU panel MIRIAM DALLI THE European Parliament has ap- proved the nomination of outgoing Nationalist Party leader Simon Bu- suttil to an experts panel, that will oversee the appointment of judges and advocates-general at the Euro- pean Union Court of Justice. Busuttil's appointment was ap- proved with 556 votes in favour, 82 against and 35 abstentions. It turns out that amongst the latter group was head of the La- bour delegation, Alfred Sant. The former Labour prime minister did not take part in the vote, ac- cording to Illum. Illum quotes a spokesperson for Sant who confirmed that the MEP did not participate in the se- cret vote. On Sunday, Prime Min- ister and Labour leader Joseph Muscat urged the three Labour MEPs to vote in favour of Busut- til's nomination. "I congratulate him on his new post," Muscat told a crowd gath- ered at a political activity. The prime minister urged the sup- porters to support Maltese suc- cess and endeavours – even those coming from PN. "My family and I were the ones most hurt by the PNs allegations, but we need to continue to cel- ebrate their success because they are Maltese," he said. Busuttil was nominated for the post by the European Parliament, and will replace Italian MEP Lui- gi Berlinguer, whose term ends 28 February. The nomination was made by the chairman of the EP Committee on Legal Affairs, Pav- el Svoboda, in a letter sent to EP president Antonio Tajani on 18 July, just six weeks after Busuttil resigned the PN leadership post after the general election defeat. The committee meets eight times a year and Busuttil will re- main a member of parliament. The nomination was approved by the Committee on Legal Af- fairs on 13 July. The term of ap- pointment lasts from March, 1, 2018 until the end of February, 2022. The ECJ panel gives "an opinion on candidates' suitability to perform the duties of judge and advocate-general of the General Court before the governments of the member states make the ap- pointments." The panel is made up of seven people chosen from among for- mer members of the Court of Justice and the General Court, and lawyers of recognised com- petence, one of whom – in this case Busuttil – is proposed by the European Parliament. Busuttil was a former MEP be- fore becoming PN deputy leader in 2012 and then PN leader in 2013. He resigned in June 2017. Parents denied bail in case over mobile contract default PN leader denies campaigning for Said MATTHEW AGIUS A BULGARIAN man has ap- peared in court after being ar- rested on a European Arrest Warrant issued for breaching bail in a case over a mobile contract default. Police brought Atanas Yor- gov 42, from Varna, Bulgaria before Magistrate Gabriella Vella on Monday. Yorgov and his wife had been placed on the wanted list by Poland after he left the coun- try, despite having been on bail pending criminal pro- ceedings. They had been convicted of having purchased two mobile phones at a discount in 2010 with no intention of honour- ing their contract. The dis- trict court in Trzebnica had sentenced Atanas Yorgov to one year's imprisonment, conditionally suspended for two years. This sentence was rendered executable in 2012, after the court was told that they had evaded the obliga- tion to make good for the fi- nancial damage they caused the company. They had then failed to turn up when sum- moned to a penitentiary in- stitution to serve their sen- tence. In October 2014, the Yor- govs had been arrested in the UK and transferred to Poland on another European Arrest Warrant which did not men- tion the previous jail sentence. They were released on bail in June 2015. Their subsequent failure to abide by bail condi- tions – which stipulated that they must stay at their place of residence – rendered them a fugitive from justice, ac- cording to a decision by the District Court in Trzebnica in May 2016. In court today, defence law- yer Stephen Tonna Lowell summoned their employer, who told the court that the couple had been working at his hotel for the past four years. The husband works in laundry, supervising 8 em- ployees and his wife was a su- pervisor in the housekeeping department. The couple are also parents to a 7-year-old girl, who is currently being cared for by her aunt, explained the law- yer. They had not given any problems to their employ- ers, said their boss. "If they had, I wouldn't be here to- day. I wouldn't be here if they weren't good workers and if I wasn't prepared to step in as a guarantor for them." The magistrate asked wheth- er he was aware that he would be personally liable for the guarantee if they absconded whilst on bail. The couple's boss said that he had looked into their back- grounds and felt that the con- viction was not for a serious crime. "It is a normal, simple offence. In the rooms that they inspect, the clients often have valuables in their rooms and I have had no problems with these two employees. They had gone abroad to Eng- land in the past." Lawyer Matthew Xuereb, from the Office of the At- torney General pointed out that the pair had been given an opportunity by a Polish court, despite their guilt and had violated the conditions of their suspended sentence. But Tonna Lowell replied that nobody should be arraigned under arrest for not paying a service charge. "The charges do not merit arrest. That being said I un- derstand the serious nature of the EAW.. .there are pro- cedures that must be adhered to but in so doing we must not violate a person's rights. We have two persons who are good employees and who have a child. We are not surrender- ing today because there are a number of things we need to sort out. But what is the point of refusing bail to persons who are not accused of a seri- ous offence and who aren't a threat, as guaranteed by their employer?" The court, however, denied bail, despite having heard the couple's boss declare that he was prepared to provide a financial guarantee for bail, saying it felt that as there was an effective jail sentence against them, the court was not satisfied that they would not attempt to f lee the coun- try. The child was in the care of her aunt and therefore there was no apparent insur- mountable problem for the care and custody, ruled the magistrate. magius@mediatoday.com.mt Simon Busuttil CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 The PN's parliamentary group shares a WhatsApp group and Busuttil, to clear his name from any accusations or suggestions of preferen- tial treatment, sent a message to the MPs. "Colleagues. I would like to bring the following to your attention," the message read. "Adrian Delia was reported saying today that I was too busy to meet him because I was campaigning for Chris Said. Quite apart from the fact that I met Delia twice in private, I would like you to know that this statement is completely false and I did nothing of the sort." Busuttil added that he attended both the Naxxar and Mellieha feasts on Saturday and Sunday and this was made known by the party in the respective localities. He said that, as per normal practice, all local MPs were present along with members of the local committees. "Chris got wind of my attendance and turned up, which is where and how pictures were taken of us to- gether. If Adrian was there the same would have hap- pened," Busuttil explained. Holding nothing back on Delia, Busuttil said: "I find these attacks unbecoming from a person who aspires to replace me." A number of MPs jumped to Busuttil's defence, in- cluding one confirming seeing Busuttil at the Naxx- ar feast. "Kap was not campaigning for anyone. I was there."

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