Thursday, 29 March 2012

Times: Lesbian attack case put off for third time

Magistrate issues police escort order against two doctors who failed to turn up
Thursday, March 8, 2012 by Waylon Johnston

The court case involving an alleged attack on a teenage lesbian couple seems to be stalling at every turn and had to be put off for the third time yesterday because doctors failed to turn up to testify.

Another witness submitted a medical certificate saying she was so sick she could not attend court, prompting Magistrate Joseph Apap Bologna to remark that, if he received another such certificate, he would summon the doctor to testify.

Two girls, aged 15 and 16, alleged that they were attacked by two brothers, aged 15 and the other 17, who started calling them names when they saw them kissing.

The boys were arraigned along with a 35-year-old woman who allegedly got involved in the fight despite not being connected to the boys. The girls too were taken to court, accused of slightly injuring the boys.

As the sitting got under way yesterday, Police Inspector Darrell Borg informed the magistrate that medical doctors Carlo Refalo and Phillipa Ergyu had been notified to testify but failed to turn up.

The magistrate ordered that both doctors be brought to court under police escort to make sure they turn up for the next sitting.

The daughters of the 35-year-old woman were expected to appear as witnesses in the previous sitting but they chose not to testify against their mother, as is their right.

This left a gap in those proceedings, which was meant to be filled by the doctors' testimony. However, it emerged that they had not been notified to appear.

During the first sitting, one of the brothers failed to turn up and the sitting had to be put off.

At the end of yesterday's sitting, Magistrate Apap Bologna said that, although the girls chose not to testify against their mother, they could testify against the other accused and so he ordered that they be notified.

Lawyers Michael and Lucio Sciriha appeared for the teenage girls.

Legal aid lawyer Cedric Mifsud appeared for the brothers and the woman.

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]

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