M.D. is the mother of two children. When the children were aged between three and five, the presumed father, X., was convicted for repeatedly beating them. He was sentenced to two years in prison and the children were put into an institution.
The Maltese courts also found that, possibly because of X’s threats, M.D. had not reported his violent behavior and had behaved roughly. Therefore M.D. was also sentenced to one year in prison.
After the criminal case had started, M.D. took steps to make things right. Her relationship with X. ended, and she rebuilt her relationship with her children. Yet they were still in the care of an institution. M.D. wanted to have them back.
However, the relevant government minister refused her request. She wanted to go to court to prove that things had changed. However, because of her conviction M.D. had lost all parental rights over her children, forever. Under Maltese law, there was no way she could bring a claim and prove her case.