A former employee of the Animal Welfare Department is to file a constitutional case alleging a breach of human rights for twice being tried for the same crime.

Eugene Galea, 54, from Lija, said in court yesterday that he found himself in a state of double jeopardy: he had been fined €100 for failing to turn up in court and then charged again for breaching bail conditions over the same thing, for which he received a two-month jail term.

This meant he was being punished twice for the same crime, he argued.

Mr Galea is facing charges of harassing Parliamentary Secretary for Animal Rights Roderick Galdes and driving dangerously.

In one of the sittings in the case he was fined €100 for contempt of court after he failed to turn up.

Mr Galea said his lawyer at the time, Victor Bugeja, had confirmed with the inspector that once he had been fined the matter would stop there. However, a few days later the inspector arrested him and charged him with breaching bail conditions over the same failure to show up in court.

In an application yesterday, Mr Galea said he had filed an appeal against the jail term. However, he had asked the Criminal Court of Appeal to suspend the appeal pending the outcome of the constitutional case he was going to file over double jeopardy. The case continues.

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