By Tom Winnifrith | Wednesday 9 May 2018
Oh dear. Oh dear. It seems that the legal woes of devout Christian Julie Meyer MBE are getting worse and worse and the intervention of a new law firm - at least 11 prior firms having failed to get paid - has made matters worse. The Maltese Independent reports on today's disaster for "Praise The Lord":
A magistrate has reacted furiously to being emailed directly by a defendant and her foreign lawyer in a case over unpaid wages, saying it was a clear attempt to influence the court.
Businesswoman Julie Meyer is currently facing three lawsuits over employees’ unpaid salaries and outstanding bills.
She is the organiser of the Follow the Entrepreneur Investor Summit, a major event at which both Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Economy Minister Chris Cardona have been speakers.
In a sitting last month, when Meyer failed to appear after the police were unable to track her down and notify her with her summons, Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech had ordered the Commissioner of Police to dedicate all the police resources required to find Meyer - including sending officers to man fixed point observation posts outside any address that she may be in.
In the days before the sitting, Meyer had sent a local lawyer to settle the dues in court, but the magistrate had insisted the Meyer could not do so.
On that same day Meyer had sent a lengthy email to the Magistrate, which was read out in court this morning, making a number of allegations and saying that she wanted to pay but wasn’t being allowed to and that she didn’t have to appear.
More emails to the magistrate’s deputy followed over the next few days, sent by UK law firm Farrer and Co.
The attempt caused uproar in the court this morning.
After reading out the emails in full today, the court reconvened the case ahead of its scheduled date, declaring that the emails were illegal and a breach of ethics. Describing them as an attempt to influence the court, the magistrate ordered that the decree and the emails be delivered to the President.
Under the Criminal Code, in such cases, the Magistrate is duty bound to inform all the parties of communication she receives and to pass on a copy to the President of the Republic.
She further declared that Julie Meyer has to appear before her at all costs, irrespective of whether the payments are settled or not.
The court made it clear that until Julia Meyer appeared in court to answer the criminal charges, irrespective of whether or not she had settled the amounts due, the case would continue to be put off until it is decided in the presence of the accused, because there is no possibility of a trial in absentia under Maltese law.
Lawyer Andrew Grima assisted the prosecution, Lawyer Joe Giglio was parte civile.
To be clear, even if Meyer pays her unpaid employees, she still faces criminal charges since not paying staff is a criminal act in Malts. And if Julie thinks that is the end of the bad news coming her way today she is mistaken...
Meanwhile how on earth can the MSFA still allow a firm where Meyer is the sole director to be regulated to conduct investment business when she is refusing to attend trial on the island on criminal charges? And I thought the FCA were useless...
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