A man was remanded in custody on Wednesday after denying that a bone and other objects related to the occult, found in his neighbour’s front garden had been planted by him to induce her to believe that she was under a curse.

Karlis Meiers, a 28-year old Latvian national, was arrested and marched to court on Wednesday afternoon after the discovery by the neighbour who works for a voluntary organization.

The man was charged with having threatened the woman and caused her to fear violence. He was further charged with recidivism.

Prosecuting Inspectors Joseph Mercieca and Oriana Spiteri explained how the man had denied placing the bone and other unspecified items related to the occult, in the woman's front garden.

The bone had been used by him as part of a “cleansing ritual” and he had intended to bury it, the suspect had told the police. However, he could not explain how the items had ended up in his neighbour’s front garden.

Magistrate Joe Mifsud heard how the man had an ongoing dispute with the charitable organisation where the victim volunteered and knew where she lived.

“I committed no crime. I did not endanger anyone," the arrested man insisted in court, complaining that he was being discriminated against on the basis of his religion.

The nature and provenance of the bones are the subject of a separate magisterial inquiry, sparked off after the discovery on Monday. A number of experts, including an exorcist, have reportedly been appointed to assist in the inquiry.

The man pleaded not guilty and was remanded in custody after defence lawyer Noel Cutajar informed the court that no request for bail was being made at this stage.

The court recommended that the director of prisons was to provide the man with any necessary treatment. The court banned publication of the name of the alleged victim, further issuing a protection order in her favour.

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