Woman's court outburst lands her new charges – Times of Malta

A woman who fired a tirade of insults against police officers in court on Monday after a magistrate delivered a judgment, apologised on Tuesday when she was accused of contempt.
Pawlina Cutajar, 28, from Gżira, and her partner, Johan Sultana, were convicted of running a Fgura massage parlour as a brothel and living off the earnings of prostitution.
Cutajar was handed a four-month jail term suspended for two years while Sultana got a 3-year effective jail term after also being found guilty of money laundering.
As soon as Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech delivered judgment, Cutajar turned upon the two prosecuting officers, insulting them and threatening to “get even.”
The woman was promptly re-arrested.  
On Tuesday, a calm and composed Cutajar was led back in court to face charges for allegedly insulting and threatening Magistrate Frendo Dimech and the two prosecuting inspectors, failing to obey legitimate orders, wilfully breaching the peace, swearing in public as well as relapsing.
Her lawyer, Roberto Montalto, gave duty Magistrate Monica Vella a brief account of the incident and said the accused wished to apologize to the magistrate and officers concerned.
Inspectors Jonathan Cassar and Roxanne Tabone had both suffered the brunt of Cutajar’s emotional outburst when in reality, they were only carrying out their duty and the accused acknowledged this, Montalto said.
Although none of her words and actions were directed against the magistrate, Cutajar acknowledged that she had “greatly failed towards the court’s authority,” went on her lawyer.
He said that when Cutajar was escorted back before Magistrate Frendo Dimech to sign notice of appeal, she publicly apologized for her behaviour.
He said Cutajar apparently reacted the way she did when she realized that Sultana, who is the father of her child, had landed an effective jail term.
“There was no assault but she was simply much more vociferous than she is today, more than she ever ought to have been,” explained Montalto.
The prosecution also acknowledged that Monday’s incident was a reaction to the judgment.
The lawyer suggested a suspended sentence and a fine as appropriate punishment.
However, since the woman would not plead guilty to all the charges, she registered a plea of not guilty and requested bail.
Bail was granted against a personal guarantee of €10,000 and a curfew between 11pm and 6am. She was bound under a protection order not to molest either of the three alleged victims.
Inspectors Daryl Borg and Gabriel Micallef prosecuted.
Sultana and Cutajar had been targeted for criminal investigations after members of the drug squad intercepted Sultana at the wheel of his Mercedes in January 2019.
A search of the vehicle yielded some 0.614 grams of heroin in the centre console, along with gloves, a balaclava and a hammer.
Sultana claimed that he used the gloves and balaclava when riding his motorbike, whereas the hammer could possibly come in handy to smash the car windows in case of some emergency.
Cash amounting to €1460 was found in his possession, while more cash was found at his residence, €2480 of which were found inside a purse belonging to Cutajar.
That discovery triggered further investigations which also gathered evidence from the suspect’s mobile phone.
Officers from the vice squad joined the investigations after a series of messages were found referring to a Fgura massage parlour that was rendering sexual services to clients.
A number of male clients were contacted, confirming police suspicions.
One of the men said that he had paid €50 for “a hand job”, while another explained that Cutajar herself had given him “a happy ending.”
The couple also shared a Facebook profile under which they operated the business.
Keys to the parlour were found in Cutajar’s possession along with a VAT receipt book concerning another shop in Mosta.
Sultana had acquired the parlour in his own name.
Although the transfer was masked as a donation, the seller subsequently testified that Sultana had paid €26,000 in cash on the deed of transfer, although the notary denied that cash payment.
The couple were charged with running the parlour as a brothel, living off the earnings of prostitution, making unlicensed use of the premises and money laundering.
Both were accused as recidivists and breaching court sentences.
Sultana was also accused of heroin possession and being found in possession of tools linked to break ins.
Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech concluded that there was no doubt that Sultana took “an active role” in running the business.
As for Cutajar, it was not proved that she had shared the funds generated by the sexual services offered, including those offered by herself.
The pair were cleared of the unlicensed use of the premises after a senior environmental health officer testified that a licence was no longer mandatory in terms of law.
Although Sultana tried to give the impression that he had nothing to do with the shop, he was actually fattening his pocket with funds generated through that business and he was unable to explain the source of that wealth, the court found. 
The man claimed to get by on social benefits, yet surely those were not enough to buy the Fgura property, whilst financing his drug addiction and buying gold and Rolex watches, remarked the court.
In money laundering cases, the burden of proof shifted onto the accused.
In this case, Sultana did not even “remotely” prove that the funds to support himself and his lifestyle were not derived through criminal activity, including the prostitution racket he ran alongside his partner inside the parlour which he owned exclusively in his own name.
Whilst not finding Cutajar guilty of money laundering, the court handed her a 4-month jail term suspended for two years.
Sultana was handed a 3-year effective jail term.
The court further ordered that the judgment be notified to the director of social services and the commissioner of inland revenue.
The police commissioner was also to be notified for possible future investigations in respect of the notary and seller involved in the property transfer.
Inspectors Jonathan Cassar and Roxanne Tabone prosecuted.
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