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Constitution of Malta


Article 39(…) (5) Every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proved or has pleaded guilty:Provided that nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this subsection to the extent that the law in question imposes upon any person charged as aforesaid the burden of proving particular facts.(6) Every person who is charged with a criminal offence:(a) shall be informed in writing, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature of the offence charged;(b) shall be given adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence;(c) shall be permitted to defend himself in person or by a legal representative and a person who cannot afford to pay for such legal representation as is reasonably required by the circumstances of his ease shall be entitled to have such representation at the public expense;(d) shall be afforded facilities to examine in person or by his legal representative the witnesses called by the prosecution before any court and to obtain the attendance of witnesses subject to the payment of their reasonable expenses, and carry out the examination of witnesses to testify on his behalf before the court on the same conditions as those applying to witnesses called by the prosecution; and(e) shall be permitted to have without payment the assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand the language used at the trial of the charge, and except with his own consent the trial shall not take place in his absence unless he so conducts himself as to render the continuance of the proceedings in his presence impracticable and the court has ordered him to be removed and the trial to proceed in his absence. (…)