James Milton: Interrogated without a lawyer
James Milton*, then a 16-year-old from the UK who had recently moved with his mother to Malta, was arrested and taken to a police station where he was questioned aggressively for over four hours, without a lawyer or other appropriate adult present.
His mother was refused entry to the interview room despite her presence at the police station and her frequent requests to see her son. Before James was released from the police station his passport was seized and held for over a year, preventing him from attending family functions including the birthday celebrations of both his father and elderly grandfather.
James’ trial did not commence for a year. James was acquitted of all charges, the Court finding that his accuser’s testimony was “filled with doubts and half truths” and the evidence to support the prosecution case was “grossly lacking”. Nonetheless, the police appealed and retained possession of his passport until the case was eventually dropped. No explanation or apology was ever given and when James and his mother contacted Fair Trials in June 2010, neither felt they had had any real closure, though James’s passport was belatedly returned to him.
*Names have been changed for confidentiality.