The Women’s Rights Foundation’s observatory on femicide has called on the Maltese judiciary to ensure continuous ongoing training and sensitivity to the harmful attitudes and negative impact of gender stereotyping.
Commenting on the acquittal of the two men accused of the murder of Sion Grech, a prostitute killed in 2005 whose body was found in the middle of a field in Marsa, the WRF observatory said it was concerned by the outcome of the case.
“We cannot but show our full support to Sion’s family and the LGBTIQ community and women in Malta and note that justice delayed, has been justice denied,” Dr Lara Dimitrijevic said.
She said the WRF observatory was deeply troubled by the length of time the case had taken to reach a jury, the lack of proper preservation of evidence and inadmissibility of evidence due to it not being properly kept at law, a lack of sensitivity towards the victim and the witnesses, and comments passed about the lifestyle of the victim and witnesses.
“The Istanbul Convention clearly states that the past of victim should not be used to tarnish the victim’s reputation and credibility,” Dimitrijevic said, adding that the lawyers should have training over the effects of re-victimisation, harmful attitudes and negative impact of gender stereotyping
“We call on the Government to provide the courts with a more expedient and efficient mechanism. We call on the State to ensure that there is an ongoing awareness raising campaign on the Istanbul Convention as well as better understanding of the needs and compassion towards those most vulnerable in our society.”
A jury returned resounding not guilty verdicts in the trial of two men who were accused of murdering 20-year-old Sion Grech in 2005. 52-year-old Ismael Habesh from Libya and 55-year-old Faical Mahouachi from Tunisia were indicted for Grech’s murder in 2005.
Grech’s body had been found, dumped in a field after she was stabbed 17 times.
Prosecutors were forced to admit an embarrassing error and withdraw two heads of the indictment, as the trial of two men accused of the murder of Sion Grech reached its closing stages.
At the end of the prosecution’s lengthy closing address to the jury, the Attorney General asked the jurors not to find guilt on the second and third heads of indictment, which relate to the use of a knife in a crime against the person and carrying of a knife in public without a permit.
The reason was an oversight by the prosecution which meant that the men had been indicted for offenses which had not yet been introduced into law at the time the murder took place. The heads of indictment in question had referred to offenses under the Arms Act, which had been introduced to replace the Arms Ordinance in August 2005, four months after Grech’s murder.The post Femicide acquittal raises need for proper training for lawyers and judiciary first appeared on DAILY POLITICAL PRESS.