From your first contact with the police you should be given the following information:
how and under what conditions you may be reimbursed for expenses incurred in order to take part in the criminal proceedings
As a victim of a crime committed in another Member State, if you live in Malta you have the right to report the crime to the Maltese police. Once you make the report, the police in Malta are obliged to send the report without delay to the competent authority of the Member State where the crime was committed, unless they have started proceedings themselves.
When you report a crime the police should give you a written acknowledgement of your report, declaring the basic elements of the crime in question. Furthermore, you are entitled to receive information about the following on request:
In the cases envisaged in a and c, you should be given the reasons, or a summary thereof, for the decision in question.
The police should ensure that you can understand and can make yourself understood. If you do not understand or speak Maltese or English, you have the right to interpretation and translation in a language you understand.
Communication must take place in simple and accessible language and your personal characteristics should be respected including any disability which may affect your ability to understand or to make yourself understood. Furthermore, you have the right to be accompanied by a person of your choice when you first contact the police, if due to the impact of the crime you require assistance to understand or to make yourself understood. When the victim is a person with a disability, or a minor, the police always request the assistance of the social workers from the Appoġġ Agency (Aġenzija Appoġġ) and if it is deemed necessary, they may also request the assistance of other professionals in the field.
During your first contact with the police the latter will give you information about the type of support you can receive and from whom, including medical support, psychological support and even alternative accommodation. Furthermore, the police should refer you to victim support services without delay.
The support service is confidential
You can access these services even before you have formally reported a crime.
The police should immediately ensure that you are kept safe, if after a first assessment it emerges that you are in danger. If the police conclude that the offender is a dangerous person, they can arrest the offender and bring the case to court urgently and request the court to order the offender’s detention.
You can also ask the police officer in charge of your case to place you in a witness protection programme. You will need to declare that you will testify against the offender during the court hearing. If the police officer is convinced that your testimony or other evidence you have are important for the case he/she will ask the Attorney General to place you in a witness protection programme. The programme may also cover members of your family and other relatives. It usually consists of measures that ensure your personal safety and/or protect your property.
Yes, the police carry out this assessment.
If during the proceedings it emerges that there is still danger, the police may ask the court to issue a protection order for you and your family.
In case of domestic violence victims are placed in dedicated shelters
If you are a minor, your parent or guardian can report the crime instead of you.
As a minor, if your parent or guardian cannot represent you due to a conflict of interest or if you are unaccompanied or separated from your family, the court will, on its own initiative, appoint a child advocate or an advocate for legal aid to represent your interests.
You are considered a victim and have the same rights as a victim of crime.
You can report the crime instead of the victim if they are your spouse, parent, child or sibling, or you are their guardian.
Mediation between the victim and the offender will be available during the criminal proceedings when the offender admits the crime or is found guilty thereof. In the event of an admission or a guilty verdict, there are various ways to access mediation through the Courts of Justice (Qrati tal-Ġustizzja). Access to mediation services can be provided by making a request to the Court, through legal action, by the prosecutor and/or the defence lawyer and/or the probation officer, so that the case could proceed to mediation.
If the Court accepts the request, the case will be referred to the Victim Offender Mediation Committee (Committee) within the Probation and Parole Department. That Committee will decide whether the case merits mediation or not once it has examined all the relevant information. If the Committee decides to proceed with the mediation, the case will be assigned to a mediator. The mediator contacts both the victim and the offender and meets with them individually with the aim of organising a third meeting. to be attended by both parties. In order for the mediation process to go ahead, the mediator must ensure that both parties will benefit from the process and that there is no risk of secondary victimisation.
The law that stipulates your rights is the Victims of Crime Act (Att dwar il-Vittmi tal-Kriminalità) - Chapter 539 of the Laws of Malta -
With regard to mediation, the applicable law is the Restorative Justice Act (Att dwar il-Ġustizzja Riparatriċi) - Chapter 516 of the Laws of Malta
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