Reflections on the judicial system in Malta

One is often surprised when one reads about the trials and their outcome in Malta. What is most astonishing is how long time it takes in Malta between a crime is committed and the perpetrator’s identity is known to the police and the trial takes place.

The Court House in Valletta, Malta
In today’s The Times one can read about a hold-up that had taken place in 2007. Obviously a firearm was used and goods of substantial value were taken. If the police got to know about the robber’s identity in 2011 one can understand why the trial took place in February 2012, but that seems not to be the case.

One of the most outrageous cases is the one regarding a man, who was jailed in April 2011 and sentenced to 29 years after he was found guilty of the murder of a prostitute who was killed in 1999. The circumstances around the killing and the man who was later convicted were known to the police in a much earlier stage. 

One can reflect in these cases on what the then suspected men did during the time between the crimes and the trials. Were they still on the loose or were they kept in custody without trial for all these years, probably not the latter. One can also wonder how the murdered girl’s relatives felt. All their sorrow must have been experienced once more, especially as Maltese papers publish names and details and even the name of the community where they live.  It is also unfair to a suspect not to have his case tried; he might be innocent. Almost every week you can read about cases like these. 

The same, or even worse, goes for civil cases that can go on for much more than a decade to be ruled by a court.

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