Swieqi man fined €500 over Facebook comment
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Swieqi man fined €500 over Facebook comment

A man who posted a comment on Facebook saying that the Pope should be shot in his hand, feet and in his side just as Christ was, was today condemned to a month in jail suspended for a year and fined €500.

Karl Farrugia, 24, formed part of group called No to the Pope in Malta and posted his comment on April 7.

He was charged in terms of the Press Act with incitement.

Taking the witness stand, Mr Farrugia said the comment was only meant as a joke because he assumed that the members of the group all thought the same. He wanted to make the connection between Christ and the Pope.

Defence counsel Owen Bonnici argued in Mr Farrugia’s defence that he could not be found guilty of the charge because Facebook was registered in America and therefore he did not effectively publish the comment in Malta but in the US. Although this joke was in bad taste, he did not mean to incite anybody to harm the Pope in any way.

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