Court Orders Liam Debono Interview To Be Pulled from Tonight's Xarabank Episode
Attorney General expresses "complete disgust" towards ethics of journalism
The Courts have this morning ruled that an interview with Liam Debono, the 17 year old being faced with charges for trying to run over policeman Simon Schembri, be pulled from tonight's episode of Xarabank
A featured interview with Debono was originally meant to be aired during tonight’s show. Following a court application filed by Schembri's lawyers that challenged the airing, the Court has decreed that the interview segment be removed.
In this extremely controversial case, the young youth has been in the spotlight given his troubled childhood and difficult situation at home. As he has come under attack, declarations that the jury may have already prejudiced his case also became a hot topic in Malta.
But in light tonight’s interview, Schembri’s lawyers claimed that “this public exercise is out of good taste.” They noted how the video is pre-recorded and can be edited as the producers see fit, and that they can manipulate reality to go along with a certain kind of narrative.
Although the interview was already recorded, Magistrate Joe Mifsud ordered that the episode is not to be broadcasted. Simon Schembri stated that he felt "betrayed and disappointed" by Xarabank's interview that could influence the jury's opinions.
He also demanded that the unedited interview is exhibited during the Court proceedings.
Debono’s defence lawyers Franco Debono and Amadeus Cachia questioned why the court had stepped in to stop Debono’s interview from airing when it had allowed Simon Schembri to speak out in public before.
“What is clear is that according to the court's decision, neither Mr Debono, nor Mr Schembri can speak out in public,” Debono told The Times of Malta. “It could mean that Mr Debono's human rights to a fair trial were breached when Mr Schembri and others spoke out in his defence on local media.
"It is unbelievable that Mr Schembri is very comfortable with having himself or others speak in his favour, but the only time that Mr Debono was going to speak, he objected. I leave it up to everyone to reach their own conclusions.”
Editor's Note: We would like to apologise for the earlier oversight of having included the photo of a different Liam Debono. The photo has been removed and steps will be taken internally to avoid a similar situation ever repeating itself.