Pandying to the crowd leads to unacceptable injustices

In today’s Sunday Times, Edwina Brincat reports on Magistrate Rachel Montebello’s decree which gave the reasons why she has denied bail to Yorgen Fenech.

From what Edwina Brincat writes, it is clear that the magistrate has already made up her mind that Yorgen Fenech is guilty despite the fact that the compilation of evidence has not yet been concluded.

There are two points in this article which need further clarification. The first one is related to the argument that Yorgen Fenech was attempting to escape. This has not been proven in court. On the contrary, there are proofs that this is not true insofar as the witness given by the yacht’s captain under oath and at least one text message, clearly state that Yorgen Fenech was intending to return back. Moreover, the evidence presented by the police, related to the assumption that Yorgen Fenech was intending to escape, mentions his uncle Ray Fenech. Therefore, if we assume that this is correct, why haven’t the police questioned Ray Fenech about this hypothetical escape? The fact that this has not occurred after all this time, shows that they do not have a leg to stand on.

But the best part of Edwina Brincat’s article rests in her conclusion where she writes and I quote:

‘Granting bail at this stage would also likely spark a public disturbance in society “that is still waiting for all persons involved [in this murder] to face arraignment”’.

Why should granting bail to Yorgen Fenech spark a public disturbance? Incidentally, Keith Schembri and the rest were, rightly so, granted bail and there was no public disturbance. Nor was there any public disturbance when Melvin Theuma was granted pardon. Therefore, why should granting bail to Yorgen Fenech give rise to public disturbance?

It should be pointed out that public disturbances in Malta are being organized by a group of people who are being financed by a leading local company, if not also in tandem with others from abroad. It should be noted that Repubblika, which is one of the organizations behind public disturbances is not operating according to law, as mantained by the Commissioner of Voluntary Organizations.

When justice is solely based on public opinion and protests, it leads to chaos. We have an example in the story of Jesus. He was a victim of a fallacious judgement because it was based on the fear of a public revolt. One needs only to read the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 15, line 15, to understand what the fear of a public outcry can lead to. In the case of Jesus, it led to the condemnation of an innocent man. In Mark’s words:

“And so Pilate, determined to humour the multitude, released Barabbas as they asked, Jesus be scourged, and gave him up to be crucified”.

Pandying to the crowd leads to similar unacceptable injustices.

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