A 20-year-old Scottish student was today charged with raping a woman he met while cruising the Mediterranean on a Maltese-registered vessel.
The man, whose name cannot be published by court order, allegedly raped the woman on the Celebrity cruise ship MV Reflection a year ago today. He was also charged with holding her against her will and with committing violent indecent assault on the woman.
Magistrate Audrey Demicoli heard how the alleged rape took place on the cruise ship, that Royal Caribbean registered in Malta. The man and the woman were enjoying a cruise with their respective families. According to foreign reports, the alleged rape took place after the woman had her drink spiked.
The man was brought to Malta on the strength of a European Arrest Warrant issued by the Maltese police. Since the alleged case took place on a vessel registered in Malta, the case must be heard by a Maltese court.
Defence lawyers Alessandro Lia and Nadine Sant asked the court to ban the publication of their client's name, citing the presumption of innocence and the nature of the charges as their reasons.
Lawyers Steve Tonna Lowell and Michaela Spiteri, appearing parte civile for the alleged victim, did not object to the request and also requested a ban on their client's name.
Magistrate Demicoli acceded to the request and ordered a ban on the publication of all names. She also upheld a request for bail against a €500 deposit and €3,500 personal guarantee.
The prosecution did not object to the request for bail as long as he provided a fixed address in Malta.
Police Inspector Joseph Busuttil prosecuted.
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