A man who was arrested over a theft and was subsequently sent to Mount Carmel by court order was left in the wrong block due to a miscommunication between the courts and the Commissioner for Mental Health.
In a statement to Lovin Malta, the Correctional Services Agency said the man in question, Mahad Mohamed Abdiqani, had never been sentenced to prison and had never set foot inside Corradino Correctional Facility, instead being taken to Mount Carmel by court order back in October. He was then kept in preventative arrest in Mount Carmel until a further decision was to be taken in his regard.
However, a subsequent court order for the man to be moved from one Mount Carmel block, administered by the Correctional Services Agency, and another block never reached the relevant authorities, meaning the man remained in the original Mount Carmel block – the Forensic Unit -instead of the court-ordered new one.
“The Correctional Services Agency categorically denies that it was ever notified of the court’s decision in this case. The facts state that the agency, upon its own initiative, communicated with the courts to establish whether a decision was taken in this regard,” they said.
The man has not yet been given a prison sentence. He is set to remain in Mount Carmel under the responsibility of a number of specialists.
His situation only came to light when the prisoner himself asked about his sentence and prison services checked up on his court orders, finding that the only person that was informed of the change in housing was the Commissioner for Mental Health.
Andrew Azzopardi, the dean of the Faculty For Social Wellbeing, also raised concern over the man’s situation after being informed that a prisoner had been kept in prison for four months beyond their sentencing.
Prison authorities maintain the commissioner never informed them of the change and will be working with Mount Carmel authorities to ensure the man abides by the latest court orders.