Tista’ taqra dan l-artiklu bil-Malti
Malta Philharmonic Orchestra CEO Sigmund Mifsud has been charged with tampering with evidence in the sexual harassment scandal that has rocked the orchestra since it was revealed by The Shift News.
Mifsud was arraigned by the police before Magistrate Nadine Lia on Saturday and charged with using moral and/or physiological violence, causing the alleged victim to fear violence and attempting to tamper with evidence.
The charges come after accusations that he tried to persuade the victim to change her version of events before she filed a criminal complaint about the sexual harassment she was enduring at the orchestra.
There are other accusations that Mifsud gathered all the employees together at a recent meeting and told them that anyone found to be speaking out about the scandal would be deemed complicit.
The 49-year-old Mifsud pleaded not guilty, but his request for bail was denied since one of the charges was attempting to tamper with evidence and the witnesses were his subordinates.
In a subsequent statement, the Culture Ministry said Mifsud, a former Labour Party electoral candidate, has been suspended on half-pay pending the criminal case’s outcome. Teatru Rjal CEO Maestro Chris Muscat has been appointed as acting CEO in his stead.
Following The Shift’s revelations of sexual harassment and gross misconduct at the orchestra, a 31-year-old Gozitan was arraigned in court, where he admitted to the charges. He was given a one-year prison sentence suspended for four years as well as a five-year restraining order.
The man, whose name was banned by court order along with that of the victim, admitted to subjecting his victim to acts of physical intimacy, harassment, behaviour with sexual implications and the misuse of electronic communications.
In the meantime, musicians, administrators, and members of the orchestra’s management have demanded action in the wake of The Shift’s reports and are calling for the sacking of CEO Sigmund Mifsud for “covering up” the accusations when he had been made aware of them months before by the victim herself.
In her resignation letter seen by The Shift, she told Mifsud, “I have explained to your good self that my physical and mental health had deteriorated rapidly due to excessive stress caused by abuse and multiple incidents of sexual harassment that took place at the office and during work functions.”