A man who allegedly filmed a video which went viral on Facebook last week showing a couple having sex in a crowded local bar was taken to court on Monday.

Mark Cachia Zammit, a 35-year-old delivery man from Birzebbuġa allegedly admitted to police that he had filmed the video, but he pleaded not guilty upon arraignment, his lawyer arguing that criminal intent was missing. 

The video was widely shared on Facebook and many commenters condemned it as an abuse of a mentally unstable person.

Cachia Zammit pleaded not guilty to shooting the video without the consent of the parties. He denied intending to cause them harm.

The incident took place at the Luqa boċċi club. 

Lawyer Jason Azzopardi argued in court that Cachia Zammit had held his mobile phone in full view of the couple who apparently enjoyed the attention. 

His lawyer read out from the statement released by the accused to police on Sunday. 

Although he initially denied his involvement and was wary about naming other persons present, he later admitted that he had taken that footage. 

"But in no way did I mean to hurt those people involved," he told police.

In fact, the following day he felt remorseful and called the man in the footage to see if he was okay. 

The man had been instructed by police not to speak to the accused. 

He said he was okay and said that he had named Cachia Zammit with investigators.

Azzopardi said the accused certainly had no criminal intent in terms of law and that was the only reason why he was not pleading guilty. 

Moreover the law spoke of footage filmed "without authorisation. "

In this case those involved were well aware and were 'enjoying the attention.' 

"There was tacit consent," argued the lawyer. 

Asked by presiding magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras , prosecuting Inspector Kurt Farrugia said that police had tracked down the accused after speaking to various eyewitnesses at the bar when the case took place. 

His voice was also identified on the footage. The angle of the video also matched details supplied by eyewitnesses. 

The footage had been deleted on accused's mobile but police found it in a folder of recently deleted data.

After hearing submissions, the court upheld the request for bail under a deposit of €1, 000, a personal guarantee of €5000, and signing a bail book once weekly. 

The court warned the accused not to approach the prosecution witnesses in any manner and those included all persons who were at the club. 

The court issued a protection order in respect of the victims whose names were banned from publication. 

Inspectors Paul Camilleri and Kurt Farrugia prosecuted. Lawyers Jason Azzopardi and Kris Busietta were defence counsel.  

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