La legge � uguale per tutti. This maxim is to be found in all courts of law in Italy. It is a clear reminder that the backbone of society depends on the equality of all before the law – justice is always portrayed as blind in order not to distinguish between the persons appearing before her. Justitia omnibus – justice for all.I have followed with trepidation the trial by jury of Raphael Axiak, the gentle giant from Gozo who I barely knew. My brief encounters with Raphael were almost always at La Grotta where he worked along with my brother for some time. Although gifted with a giant and portly frame, Raphael never abused of it and the little we spoke immediately betrayed his gentle nature.
It was with shock that we first heard of the horrible events which Raphael and his family went through and which culminated with the death of his father. It was with trepidation that we followed the trial by jury while hoping that the justice being dispensed considered the particular situations which destiny had fashioned in such an unfortunate manner for Raphael and his close relatives. It is with jubilation and relief that I read about the verdict this morning. A 7-2 not guilty.
Raphael can now try to begin a new life and find the closure necessary from such unfortunate events. My little island of Gozo must continue to question how certain events that transpired from the witness stand could take place in such a close knit society. Can people like Raphael, his siblings, his mother, his aunt continue to suffer for so long in silence? Is there really no one to turn to in moments like these? I’d like to believe that Gozo is not an island of omert�… sadly I am not so sure.
Numquam se minus solum quam cum solus esset – Cicero
(You are never so little alone as when you are alone.)