Two teens charged in El Hiblu 1 case held at Paola prison; ‘Special protection needs totally ignored’ – lawyers

REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

Two youths facing charges over the El Hiblu 1 are currently being held at the main prison in Paola not at the Young Offenders Unit. This is despite clear instructions given by the Magistrate when the youths were arraigned in court on Saturday, lawyers Neil Falzon and Cedric Mifsud told Newsbook.com.mt. The lawyers are expected to take the necessary action to ensure that their rights as children are protected according to law.

Three youths are facing charges of forcefully overtaking the merchant vessel ship El Hiblu 1. The youths are aged 15, 16 and 19. Newsbook.com.mt contacted the Commissioner for Children in relation to the case who had replied that they have inquired about the minors charged.

READ: Commissioner for Children inquires about minors in El Hiblu 1 case

However Newsbook.com.mt is informed that the two youths, aged 15 and 16 are currently held at the main prison.

In comments given to Newsbook.com.mt by lawyer Neil Falzon from Aditus Foundation and Cedric Mifsud, the lawyers said that it was only this afternoon that they found out that their clients aged 15 and 16 are not being held at the prison youth section of the prison but at the main prison in Paola. The lawyers explained that this was despite the fact that the Magistrate gave clear instructions that the two children be given the full protection they are entitled to as minors.

The lawyers highlighted the fact that their special protection needs pending the procedures in court totally being ignored.

Falzon and Mifsud are expected to take the necessary action on Friday morning to ensure that the rights of the 15 and 16-year-old are protected according to law.