Three migrants, whose bid to get away from Malta on false documents took them as far as Rome landed a six-month prison term following their repatriation on Saturday.
Abbas Izrak Sobhi, 28, Ramadan Adam Abdalla, 22 and Mohammed Hamza Abubaker Usman, 23, all Sudanese nationals residing at the Hal Far open centre, pleaded guilty upon their arraignment after being arrested on Friday.
The three men had procured false documents, one of which reportedly did not even have a photo of the holder, and had managed to travel out of Malta, though not for long.
All three were arrested upon their arrival in Rome and were promptly sent back to Malta..
During their arraignment, the men admitted to having knowingly made use of false documents, which they claimed to have acquired from third parties they met “at a Hamrun shop.”
Defence lawyer Raisa Colombo pointed out that the accused had fully cooperated with the police, even possibly leading investigators to the “big fish” who had supplied the false documents.
One of the accused claimed that he was desperate to get away because he feared for his own safety after the riots that broke out at the Hal Far Centre, Dr Colombo said.
Another of the accused said that he had not been given the medical treatment which he required, the lawyer explained, adding that a suspended sentence would be the most adequate punishment.
However, after also hearing submissions by the prosecution, the court, presided over by Magistrate Victor George Axiaq, declared the accused guilty upon their own admission and condemned each to a six-month effective jail term.
Inspector Frankie Sammut prosecuted.