Malta. Ecclesiastical Immunity. Until the early 19th century religious facilities in Malta were under the legal, temporal authority of church authorities, and were beyond the reach of civil law. Suspected criminals sometimes sought asylum inside church properties. In the early 19th century church authorities became concerned over the abuse of this immunity and began withdrawing it by affixing notice--"Non Gode l'Immunita Ecclesiastica"--to the effect that the immunity did not apply within the designated facility. This ended the practice of criminals seeking sanctuary within certain chapels and churches. In 1828 British Governor Sir Frederic Ponsonby put an end to all such claims of asylum, whether or not the religious facilities had already been designated as no longer according the privilege. The inscription can still be found on many churches and chapels throughout the island, as on this small roadside chapel near Mosta.