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Bis-Serjeta’? Satirical Page Could Face Jail Time For Facebook Meme Calling Yorgen Fenech’s Lawyers ‘Mafia’

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One of Malta’s most beloved satirists could be facing jail time and a hefty fine in Malta over a meme.

The operator of Bis-Serjeta’ faces up to one month in prison and a potential fine of €2,329 on a magistrate’s orders after the lawyers of murder suspect Yorgen Fenech complained about unfair coverage against their client. The meme in question the magistrate called foul on described Fenech’s four lawyers as “mafia”.

“Government urges people not to be rude to mafia lawyers,” the satirical image said. 

“Just be nicer to mafiosi, guys. They’re people too.”

Proceedings were also initiated against controversial University of Malta lecturer Simon Mercieca.

Magistrate Rachel Montebello issued a twelve-page decree at the end of a court sitting, justifying them by saying the lawyers should be protected from attacks or insults, as well as to safeguard Yorgen Fenech’s “right to a fair hearing”, the Shift News reported.

Proceedings were started against Bis-Serjeta’ after Fenech’s lawyers complained about the post. When it comes to Mercieca, proceedings were initiated after complaints were issued by the Attorney General over blog posts he had written attacking the Deputy Attorney General, who is prosecuting the Fenech case.

Magistrate Montebello did not inform the parte civile lawyers or the prosecutor over Fenech’s complaint, filed on 16th December, 2020.

Lovin Malta reached out to Bis-Serjeta’ operator Karl Stennienibarra for a comment on his potential prosecution.

Reacting to the news, Karl Stennienibarra insisted that while he was innocent of any wrongdoing, he would offer Lovin Malta an envelope full of €500 notes in exchange for positive coverage of his case, in a quip referencing an alleged incident where Fenech’s lawyers tried to do just that.

Maltese freedom of speech activists called out the court proceedings, saying it was a “step back” for the country.

What do you make of these controversial court proceedings?

READ NEXT: WATCH: 5G, Zero Deaths And Bill Gates - Valletta's COVID-19 Protestors Open Up With 'Malta's Most Serious News Site'

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