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Banned story was obscene and pornographic, AG insists

It had been proven beyond reasonable doubt that the controversial story by Alex Vella Gera’s Li Tkisser Sewwi was obscene, pornographic and offended public morals, the Attorney General claimed yesterday.

In his appeal from a judgement which acquitted the writer the editor of ir-Realta, the magazine in which the story was published, in October 2009, AG Peter Grech said that the author had to realise that not everyone shared his ideas and that God was above everything and everyone.

The magazine had been banned from the university and the rector had filed a police report leading to the arraignment of the accused.

Dr Grech said that the court, he said, had to judge whether the text was obscene or pornographic and if so, whether it should be acceptable in the interest of literature, art or for the public good. The prosecution, he said, had shown that this could not possibly be the case.

He pointed out that freedom of expression was far from absolute.

In a 32-page appeal, he also complained about the use of a swearword against the Virgin Mary. If it was a crime to say the word in public, he said, it should not be acceptable in writing.

Moreover, readers were not given any indication that this was a fictitious story.

It explicitly referred to various sexual acts in grave detail and precision and the writing was manifestly offensive to the female figure and the value of women’s dignity.

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