Magistrate Nadine Lia – time to go

Magistrate Lia has no decent option left but to resign.  The Constitutional Court, in its sentence issued this week, gave Magistrate Lia an almighty drubbing.

The court ordered the magistrate removed from the case instituted by Repubblika against the police commissioner. The court chastised, berated and lambasted Lia for her catalogue of errors, her poor judgement and her inconsistency.

Magistrate Lia previously recused herself from four separate cases that were very similar to the case Repubblika filed. The organisation is challenging the police commissioner for having failed to prosecute Pilatus Bank Directors and officials for money laundering, fraud, criminal association, and other crimes as ordered by a magisterial inquiry concluded in 2021.

Magistrate Lia pigheadedly refused to recuse herself.  Repubblika made three separate requests for her to step down and allow another magistrate to hear the case.

The Constitutional Court wasn’t impressed, saying in its ruling: “This inconsistency raises serious concerns that they (Repubblika) will not get justice and that their case will not be transparent and conducted in a way that not only ensures justice is done but also that it is seen to be done.”

“The magistrate previously recused herself or abstained for the same reasons for which she is now being asked to recuse herself, but in this case, she refused…The court considers that the fear created by her attitude is real and well-founded.”

There was far worse.  In its judgement, the Constitutional Court said Magistrate Lia’s decree was not consistent with sworn statements and the reports of proceedings in the media.

The Constitutional Court, “the highest court of the land”, openly accused the magistrate of misrepresenting the facts, that her decree was not faithful to reality, that she had not been honest.

“It results from the acts that sworn declarations and reports in the media are not consistent with her decree.” That is a damning accusation from the Constitutional Court.

It refers to a decree by Magistrate Lia on 6 September in which she referred to an incident in which her father-in-law, lawyer Pawlu Lia, approached Repubblika president Robert Aquilina on the organisation’s request for the magistrate’s recusal, seen as an attempt to intimidate him.

In her decree, Magistrate Lia said this was “a spontaneous incident”. This was a cardinal mistake that was not missed by the Constitutional Court.

“The fact that the Magistrate expressed herself about a fact that was not documented in the acts and was not submitted by any party, certainly creates serious doubts about proceedings,” the court said, adding, “The Court understands that the plaintiff (Repubblika) succeeded in proving reasonable fear that the case continues to be heard by the presiding magistrate (Lia)”.

Magistrate Lia hadn’t witnessed the incident.  She hadn’t heard evidence from any party about what had happened. The only person who could have convinced her that this was “a spontaneous incident” was her father-in-law Pawlu Lia.

Magistrate Lia had stupidly revealed her bias by reaching conclusions about an incident about which she had not heard evidence in court. No wonder the Constitutional Court came down on her like a tonne of bricks.

“The magistrate was expected to recuse herself at the first request in order to maintain consistency with her previous decisions.  It would at least have been more appropriate for the magistrate to accede to the request at the second or third plea,” the Constitutional Court ruled.

“To reach this decision, the court is not relying on hypothetical situations or suppositions, but on facts and evidence that are uncontested and documented.”

That was a direct rebuke to Lia’s cynical accusations that Robert Aquilina’s claims were simply “gossip and gratuitous assertions”.  She sowed doubts about the authenticity of the document produced by Aquilina, which showed that a magisterial inquiry had ordered the prosecution of Pilatus’ directors and officials.

“With this decision.. the Court is protecting justice and its administration.” In its ruling, the Constitutional Court accused Magistrate Lia of undermining public trust in the judicial system.

When the Court has to intervene to protect justice from one of its own magistrates who it accuses of inconsistency, untruthfulness and manifest prejudice, that magistrate should be removed.

If Magistrate Lia failed so abysmally to uphold the most basic impartiality, fairness and justice, who can trust her? How can Magistrate Lia be allowed to continue to pass judgements when the Constitutional Court ruled so categorically that she jeopardised justice and the public trust in the courts?

It’s not just Magistrate Lia who should pack up.  Attorney General Victoria Buttigieg should join her.

The AG was on Magistrate Lia’s side, defending her decision not to recuse herself and viciously attacking Repubblika. The AG accused Repubblika of conducting an exercise in “forum shopping which should not be tolerated because it is an abuse of the judicial system”.

She blamed Repubblika for “unnecessarily escalating the issue into a personal attack against the magistrate”.

“This attitude should not be tolerated as it effectively constitutes a frenzied attack on the judiciary,” the AG added. She even requested that Repubblika bear all the court expenses.

Buttigieg has a natural talent for being on the wrong side every single time. Magistrate Lia can only rely on Buttigieg to defend her – because nobody else will.

Even the Constitutional Court has hung her out to dry, outraged at her abysmal judgement and stubbornness. Lia has not only been humiliated by being publicly forced to make way, but she has also been exposed as entirely unfit to sit in judgement of others.

In any normal country, she would be kicked out after facing the Commission for the Administration of Justice. The bitter irony is that her own father-in-law sits on that commission.

                           
                           
                               
guest

13 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Paul Pullicino
Paul Pullicino
1 month ago

“Its not who you know….” Oh dear. Offer her a consultancy that she might resign.

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
1 month ago

One of the magistrates not fit for purpose.

KLAUS
KLAUS
1 month ago

That person should never have been sitting there.

It is high time to vacate the seat with an apology and hide somewhere behind daddy’s back.

adriang
adriang
1 month ago

“The bitter irony is that her own father-in-law sits on that commission.”
If that’s the case then he should be made to recuse himself too when required.

Austin Sammut
Austin Sammut
1 month ago
Reply to  adriang

His own rule book would not allow him to recuse himself. He must at least be consistent.

Robert
Robert
1 month ago

I’m not sure that in a normal country she would have been kicked out of the judicial. She would have been for sure officially reprimanded and given the worst job a judge can have. It would have been up to her to resign.
There a case of a president of a court of appeal in Paris who a raced a ferrari drank on the Champs Elysées, trying to escape the cops and giving them a finger, resisted arrest multiple times. He preferred to retire rather than facing the public humiliation of a disciplinary action.

In the present case, Lia and Buttigieg are educated people, fully aware that their actions will induce a public scandal exposing their reputation and induce possible disciplinary consequences . Normally, it’s deterrent in off, but not for those two women. So what is motivating their deliberate wrongdoings that can only harm their interests? Their masochist behaviour can only be explained by the fact they are acting upon other interests than just individual or judicial ones. What is left? Which kind of interests exterior to Justice can bound judges? Too intelligent to be incompetent…Collusion, corruption, nepotism, blackmailing, influence trafficking are different possible hypothesis.Lia and Buttigied are puppets, sacrificed by their master. Let’s see if their strategy will work, or not.

Last edited 1 month ago by Robert
simon oosterman
simon oosterman
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert

These women are part of ‘the gang’ and do as they are told. No other explanation comes to mind.

Charles
Charles
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert

U nghid jien li anki it-taparsi itra anomina kienet xolha biex tigbed I simpattija

Joseph
Joseph
1 month ago
Reply to  Charles

Ma- jafhux kif. Mela ta’Simon Buzutill meta fil-parlament bdew jghajjru u halfu li jiddeportawh barra pajjizna ghax qalu li gerfex fil-firem ta’ Egrant.

Stefan vassallo
Stefan vassallo
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert

Ghaliex Il Ma. Lia lesta taqla hasla papali, tidher fil media kolla ( kwazi) li interessata fil kaz, x inhi r raguni wara dan l agir li ma jaghmilx wisq sens, sakemm mhix ordnata taghmel hekk u ghal xi raguni ma tistax tirrifiuta.

simon oosterman
simon oosterman
1 month ago

“Magistrate Lia has no decent option left but to resign.” The operative word in this sentence is ‘decent’.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago

But she’s not decent so we can’t expect her to act as such….

Steve
Steve
1 month ago

Magistrate Lia, the Attorney General, the Chief of Police and many more are just puppets installed by the regime in key positions in order to ensure the regime’s self preservation. No normal self respecting professional, more over a magistrate would go to such extremes if not……

Related Stories

Silvio Schembri courted catastrophe
Minister Silvio Schembri tweeted in April 2018 the flattering
Brutality beyond the law
Bernice Cassar was shot to death by her husband

Our Awards and Media Partners

Award logo Award logo Award logo