Wednesday, 17th March 2010 – 07:12CET

Writer to face charges for Ir-Realta story
David Schembri

Writer Alex Vella Gera is to be taken to court for his story containing explicit language published on student publication Ir-Realta’.

Student editor Mark Camilleri, 22, is already undergoing criminal proceedings for publishing Mr Vella Gera’s story Li Tkisser Sewwi in the October issue of the University campus newspaper. The case has generated much controversy.

Yesterday at around 11.30 a.m., Mr Vella Gera, who resides in Luxembourg where he works as a translator, said he was outside court waiting to testify in another case when he was approached by a police inspector.

“When Inspector Jesmond Micallef, who was prosecuting, heard my name, the case was deferred and I was asked to report to the Sliema police station,” Mr Vella Gera told The Times. The interrogation took place at around 2.30 p.m.

The author is now facing the same charges as Mr Camilleri and the court case is expected to be heard on April 20.

Mr Camilleri is being charged with breaching Article 208 of the Criminal Code, which deals with the distribution of pornographic or obscene material among others, which could lead to a prison sentence of up to six months or a fine of up to €465.87.

He is also being charged with Articles 3 and 7 of the Press Act, which in this case deal with printed matter directly or indirectly “injuring public morals or decency”. Under these charges, guilty parties could face up to three months in prison or a fine.

The contentious story, written in 1997, dealt with the male narrator’s sexual exploits, written in crude language, and included detailed references to sex with the various women he had. The author said the story had already been published on a blog around five years ago.

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