This magistrate is a total disgrace to the judiciary

Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech

Throughout my life, I have had various cases in court and I can confidently say that I have built a notorious track record, yet never have I ever felt a sense of disrespect, anger or hatred towards a member of the judiciary until today. Whilst researching my story about Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech, eventually I encountered something that triggered my righteous anger.

The judiciary holds the role of the impartial arbiter in society: the bringers of justice and the voice of legal reason. In order for the judiciary to retain this respect, they remain at a distance from society and behave in the most exemplary manner – this is why I would never be a judge. I prefer to keep my freedom, including my extremely expensive freedom to tell people off. I have a great deal of respect for the judiciary and admire and thank them for their sacrifice and public service because I am the kind of person who appreciates and understands what it means to give up your freedom for public service. I am serious and I am not saying this lightly.  Being a member of the judiciary is harder than being a politician or even a police officer because at least, a police officer is allowed to have drinks with friends and socialise – not the judiciary.

I too dedicated a significant part of my life to public service and I was a government executive for eight years. I knew what I was in for: the low salary, the excessive work, the complete sacrifice for public service and duty and a boring petite-bourgeois life. I was happy and dedicated to this life and I didn’t aspire to be rich, only to excel at my job. I tried to be a good servant of the State.

So, I never complained about the long hours of work, no holidays and if I’m on a rare holiday, I’d be pitching contracts with fellow publishers in between drinks in the early hours of the morning, and actually signing them the following day. I used to feel a great deal of responsibility and stress in handling money and capital which was not mine. I never ever wanted to get it wrong with public money and I swallowed the problems whole and took responsibility.

Eventually, as I experienced the virtue of public service, grew and matured, I became to grow incredibly intolerant towards executives in the government who take their role as some kind of joke. In addition, I grew incredibly intolerant of executives who bring excuses and complain like little dimwits who think that just because the State is resourceful, it will solve their problems at work with magic and make everything nice and comfortable for them. And I am angered at members and officials of the State who baulk and complain at every single little problem they encounter.

So, as you can imagine I grew incredibly furious when I read these lines by Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech. Really? Is this the kind of comment that a Magistrate should make? The investigations and reports that she is describing as “recycling paper” have cost the State millions of Euros, yet she is bothered by their volume and apparently doesn’t want to read them. So I bloody checked and apparently, she has still not even read the volumes of reports and evidence given to her on the case. Fucking incredible. And thank God I don’t work for the Police or the Attorney-General because if I were present when the Magistrate made that stupid comment, I would have told her that she would be very welcome to leave for Marsa where the recycling paper is processed, and at that point, I would expect her to leave or give a clear commitment that she would read everything, page by page.

Forget it – as a Magistrate, you can’t behave like a flamboyant socialite, throw these remarks, engage in very suspicious and irregular behaviour, and still expect respect from the public.  I have no respect for this magistrate and anyone at an executive or high-ranking level who would have made such a jarring and infantile complaint would have been immediately fired. Recycling paper, you say? Sure, let me Google the address for you so you can apply for your new job as a paper recycler. You are more than welcome. €20 for the taxi and you’re out.

Some advice for the Magistrate, Instead of running around in Gozo having dinner with Ġorġ il-Playboy in public view, you may better choose to respect yourself, and instead, stay in the comfort of your home, take your time, to read, page by page, the whole inquiry you have been provided. I’m sure your clerks and secretary can log in some overtime to help you speed up the reading. And, yes, I understand very well that the judiciary can do with some help, but this applies to anyone who is on the payroll of the State, from cleaner to the Chief Justice: if you can’t do your job, quit right now. It’s not because you don’t have resources, the problem is you. If you don’t get this, you are not fit for public service in any role whatsoever.

In reality, my conclusion is rhetorical. Donatella Frendo Dimech is clearly not fit to be a member of the judiciary. She is a disgrace to the judiciary.

1 Comment

  1. If the magistrate has been socialising with the wrong kind of people or has had a direct line of communication with members of the executive bypassing completely the Chief Justice, that amounts to a violation of various provisions of the Code of Ethics for Members of the Judiciary, and the Chief Justice would do well to act by initiating the necessary procedures before the Commission for the Administration of Justice. In this post, however, you refer to a Times of Malta law report dated 25 May 2021. Yes, one expects a magistrate to do one’s duty and to trawl through mounds of paper and other documents which are adduced as evidence, whether by the prosecution or by the defence. However one expects also the parties to the case to do their job properly too, beginning with the prosecution. Assuming the law report in question is correct, the magistrate was right in observing — even though her choice of words were most unfortunate and ill-advised, and in themselves could give rise to disciplinary proceedings — that dumping box-loads of documents is not the correct way of adducing evidence, particularly where the facts in issue are technical or complicated. The prosecution should have accompanied those documents with a legend indicating what each document was meant to prove, and indicating the page number. Otherwise it would be just a guesswork exercise on the part of the court to try and find out what exactly the prosecution wants to prove. In this case either the prosecution was totally and unashamedly incompetent or, more likely, deliberately wanted to stall, prolong or torpedo the proceedings.

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