After I was accused of sexually abusing my five-year-old daughter, I spent 48 days not seeing her or speaking to her. The accusations were made by my warring wife in the midst of a court battle, and, despite the absence of any evidence, I was promptly arrested and my house was searched – three computers and a tablet were seized by the police (ostensibly to look for child pornography; I had been absurdly accused of watching adult pornography in front of my daughter).
I was humiliated, and treated as condemned until proven innocent. My productivity plummeted; I had to take antidepressants to sleep. My daughter was also anguished: she told the social workers that the only thing she wanted to be happy was to see me.
The social workers had been tasked to investigate by the family court, while a child psychologist and court expert (psychiatrist) were engaged in a separate yet parallel magisterial inquiry. The two investigative reports, submitted around three months after the accusation had been made, demonstrated that the allegations were false – and warned about the impact of potential parental alienation and psychological abuse on the child’s mental health – yet the investigation dragged on for another nine months.
You can read more about the case, and the broken system that led to injustice and trauma I suffered, in an article I wrote for Malta’s The Sunday Times.
I was eventually exonerated after 395 days, but my ordeal is far from over: I remain financially hamstrung by a garnishee order (see note below), I have been emboriled into four court cases, and and I have been investigated and prosecuted for all kinds of bizarre crimes that I did not commit. I have been appearing in court cases, all to no fault of my own, on average twice monthly.
Please enable me to fight for personal and wider justice – and expose abuse of power in Malta’s justice system – by your donation. Any donation, no matter how small, serves as a boost.
I am appealing for donations for the following efforts:
- To publish and publicise a website that will reveal abuses of power in the court system, feature stories of other parents wronged by the justice system, and feature incising commentary and insight about the court in order to campaign for paradigm change in the Family Court particularly, and other courts more widely;
- To draw up reports, and run campaign, for changes in law and institutional setups to discourage litigation by warring couples and encourage shared parenting in post-separation care arrangements of children;
- To file a human rights case in the European Court of Human Rights for being denied a fair trial and for suffering huge damages by repeated and lengthy investigations and prosecutions into crimes I did not commit..
In a case triggered after I made a misconduct complaint against a lawyer (see newspaper clip below), the police have now charged me with doing the job of a private investigator without a license and doubly for engaging an investigator who didn’t have a licence (see charge sheet below) – and all of that because I gathered documentary evidence for a complaint of misconduct sent to the judiciary watchdog (Commission for the Administration of Justrice). Research in court archives shows that I am most probably the first person to be charged in this manner, bizarrely prosecuted for gathering evidence in a personal case, and then turning over that evidence to trigger an investigation into misconduct by an 'officer of the court', as lawyers are designated.
I am currently working with a professional film-maker to produce a couple of videos for the campaign, and plan to launch the website by the end of December.I am a journalist by profession.