Aftab Prince, a 37-year-old Pakistani national, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of raping a Pakistani woman on more than one occasion on 12 May. Prince was also charged with causing the woman, through his actions, to suffer from physical and psychological problems.
Defence Counsel Shazoo Ghaznavi stated in Court that when the Police have a case and know they will get media attention, thay make an arraignment without investigating properly. Dr Ghaznavi said accused had been living in Malta for ten years and had a clean conduct sheet, but instead of investigating properly, the Police arraigned him and resorted to mud slinging.
Inspector Joseph Busuttil denied this, adding that the lawyer had not been part of the investigation. The Inspector explained that both accused and victim are Pakistanis. He added that one has to understand the Pakistani culture, which is that if they are not married but have an intimate relationship, this goes against their religion and is shameful. The Inspector further stated that accused allegedly continued raping the victim, until finally she found enough courage to speak out. The Inspector added that it was the psychiatrist to whom she had gone who had advised her to go to the Police authorities.
Defence Counsel argued that the argument about Pakistai culture was not correct. The lawyer requested a ban on the publication of accused’s name, as accused is married with children, and his surname is not a common one. The lawyer added that the victim’s name should also not be published as she is Pakistani, and the Pakistanis are acquainted with each other, and for this reason she has to be protected.
The Prosecution only agreed to a ban on publication of the victim’s name, but did not agree to the same regarding accused’s name. The Court denied the request for a ban on accused’s name, and ordered that he be remanded in custody.