Updated: Lou Bondi Presented As Witness in Priests" Sexual Abuse Case Appeal

Times of Malta
January 13, 2012

Mr Scerri and Mr Pulis. File photo

The defence lawyer of two priests found guilty of sexually abusing boys in their care wants new witnesses to be heard during the appeals, including TV presenter Lou Bondi, who was the victims' spokesman for a number of years.

Last year, Carmelo Pulis and Godwin Scerri were jailed for six and five years, respectively after they were found guilty of abusing the boys. The priests were later defrocked.

Both the priests and the Attorney General appealed the judgement, handed down by Magistrate Saviour Demicoli.

This morning, defence lawyer Giannella de Marco said she wanted the court to hear new witnesses as there was new evidence which had to be presented.

The new witnesses were three doctors for Mr Scerri, a psychiatrist for Mr Pulis and Mr Bondi for both cases.

She said that her appeal was principally based on the fact that Mr Lawrence Grech, one of the boys who had been abused, was a liar.

"His system of conduct exhibits this and I want Lou Bondi because, after the judgement was given, he wrote in a number of entries in his blog, that Mr Grech lied to him five times.

"Mr Grech is a liar, he likes to be seen and he did this to the priests for his own personal interest. His system of conducts shows that he bites the hands that feed him. He even tried to get money from the BBC for the story."

Dr de Marco said she was not asking for Mr Bondi's opinion but about the fact that he was lied to by Mr Grech who influenced the other boys to get involved.

Patrick Valentino, who is representing the boys, said that what Mr Bondi wrote was his opinion and should not be used in a court of law.

Mr Grech, he said, did not have the faculty to rebut what was said about him on Mr Bondi's blog.

So if the court allowed Mr Bondi to testify, he would have to ask the court to allow the Archbishop to testify how he had given an unconditional apology to the victims precisely because of what happened to them.

Mr Justice David Scicluna said the court had to base its decision on facts and not opinion. There was only one question Mr Bondi could be asked and this was whether he confirmed what he wrote in his blogs.

In a statement this morning, Mr Bondi said he had no difficulty to confirm under oath what he wrote on his blog.

"The statements made by Lawrence Grech about me at the time were untrue.

"At the same time, this has no bearing on my views on whether the sexual abuse had taken place. I never had and still do not have doubt that it did, as confirmed already by the court," Mr Bondi said.

Dr de Marco asked for the Attorney General's appeal to be heard and decided first. The request was accepted.

The case continues on January 27 when submissions on the AG's appeal will be presented








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