Emanuel Camilleri lost more than 397 days of his freedom for a false pedophilia conviction. His son, Luke, died with leukaemia while his father was serving behind bars at just 14-years-old.
Camilleri’s traumatic experience with Malta’s justice system is laid bare in an exclusive interview with Xarabank aired on Lovin Malta.
Ten years ago, Camilleri’s was given a prison sentence after he was accused of sexually abusing his daughter, Leanne, who was a minor at the time. He continued to insist that he was innocent, even going on to say his daughter was actually forced to speak out by her mother. His daughter was found guilty of giving false testimony in 2015. By then, he had spent one year, one month and one day in prison.
Camilleri’s son battled with leukaemia while his father was serving time in Corradino, eventually passing away a few months before his release. Camilleri could not be by his son when he died.
He did go visit his grave immediately upon exiting Corradino.
“If I could change places with him, I wouldn’t think twice about it. He was just 14 with all his life ahead of him,” Camilleri said.
Camilleri at least finds solace in knowing that his son “knew the truth”, even if he never saw him be absolved of the guilty charges.
Luke’s testimony, which was heard behind closed doors and away from Camilleri, proved crucial in his father’s appeal. Camilleri only heard it once his son had died.
The case took a huge personal toll on Camilleri who lost everything because of the justice system, with delays and deferments even forcing him to miss out on his honeymoon with his new wife, Desiree.
“They took my name, my reputation, my son, my freedom, everything,” he said.
Camilleri repeatedly said that his anger is reserved for the authorities who failed to see the warning signs in his case, sentencing him behind bars for a crime he never committed.
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