Man jailed for a week for contempt of court

A man has been jailed for seven days after being found guilty of contempt of court for not observing a court judgement. The First Hall of the Civil Court also ordered him to return (€94,300) to a bank account within one month in terms of an appeals court decision.

The judgement was delivered following an application filed by the Director of Courts against Edmond Mugliette and his wife Maria Theresa. The director told the court that in June 2006 the Court of Appeal had confirmed a previous judgment and had ordered Mr Mugliette to deposit the sum of Lm40,500 in a bank account pertaining to Notary John Hayman. Once the deposit was effected, a decision had to be taken as to how the money was to be apportioned between him and the heirs of Notary Hayman.

However, Mr Mugliette had failed to deposit this sum and the Director of Courts filed action against him for contempt of court.

Mr Mugliette pleaded that this was a civil debt and that if he was jailed this would be a return to the days of prison sentences for debtors.

In his judgment Mr Justice Joseph Azzopardi said that Mr Mugliette had not been ordered to pay a sum of money to a creditor. On the contrary, he had been ordered by the courts to return funds withdrawn from an account. There was therefore no doubt that Mr Mugliette was in contempt of court.

In conclusion the court ruled that no action ought to have been filed against Mrs Mugliette. However, Mr Mugliette was jailed for seven days. He was also ordered to comply with the previous court judgement and told that he would be fined €30 for each day of delay.


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