Court to decide whether Enemalta chairman to be prosecuted for threat to cut off supply



A court is to decide whether or not to order the Commissioner of Police to prosecute Enemalta Chairman Frederick Azzopardi for taking the law into his own hands. Lawyer Dr Stefano Filletti, appearing on behalf of the Enemalta chairman, argued that in this case, Azzopardi had not assumed or presumed that he had the power at law to suspend electricity.


Man cleared of forging wife’s signature to withdraw money from joint account

Lawyer Stefano Filletti represented Mr Vella as the defence council while Inspector Yvonne Farrugia prosecuted.


A 58-year-old man accused of forging his estranged wife’s signature to withdraw money for their daughter’s wedding gift has been handed a conditional discharge after being cleared of fraud and falsifying documents and guilty of making fraudulent gain.

Magistrate Neville Camilleri had heard Inspector Yvonne Farrugia explain how Albert Vella’s estranged wife Catherine had filed a criminal complaint against her former husband, claiming that she had found out through separation proceedings that he had taken the money without her permission.

In his statement to the police, Vella had said that the policy had been taken out when the couple were still together and had been saved up for their children’s weddings.
The money had been given to his daughter, said the accused, claiming that his wife had also signed the documents allowing him to withdraw the money.

But Catherine Vella denied signing the documents that authorised him to withdraw the money and had claimed that her daughter had told her that the accused had given her some money. It emerged that she had received around €2,000. The fate of the remainder of the money is a mystery.

In her testimony before the court, the woman had explained that her marriage to the accused had ended over 10 years before the incident and the separation case had been dragging on for almost as long.

A calligraphy expert had been appointed to compare the signature of the accused with that on the withdrawal form, but his conclusions were not taken into consideration after the defence pointed out to the court that he should have compared it to that of the wife, not the accused.

Vella was found not guilty of fraud and forgery of documents, but convicted of “other fraudulent gain.” The Court noted his relatively clean criminal record and the fact that part of the money he received had been given to his daughter as a wedding present. It also factored in the state of the accused’s marriage and the separation proceedings which had been ongoing at the time.

After taking all this into consideration, Magistrate Camilleri was of the opinion that a prison sentence would not be ideal for a man who was almost 60 years old and whose criminal record was relatively clean.

Taking care to point out the gravity of the offence which the man had committed, the court conditionally discharged Vella for three years.

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Pensioner claims he was misled into investing in high-risk product, losing £20,000


A 78-year-old widower has sued a financial services provider seeking refund of £20,000 he lost in a high-risk product, plus interest.

The demand was made in a judicial protest filed this morning by Angelo Zahra from Żejtun against GlobalCapital Financial Management Limited.

The pensioner filed legal proceedings following an investigation by the financial services watchdog, which last month concluded that the sale of the product named Lifemark was “prohibitively prejudicial in various counts”.

He noted that some documents containing declarations accepting unfair contract terms, which bore his signature and that of his late wife had been obtained through “deception and trickery.”

In addition, the man complained that the firm had failed to warn him that such product was not suitable to him, and that it was targeted for experienced investors, in line with the set MFSA guidelines.

The pensioner also claimed that the company had never given him copies of the documents he had signed when purchasing the product until he complained in 2013, when they were only made available through MFSA.

This complaint had been filed after the man received a bondholder notice informing them that the total returns would approximately be from 12 to 15 per cent of the nominal amount of the investment and would be distributed over a number of payments.

Lawyer Stefano Filletti and legal procurator Davina Sullivan signed the protest


Former inspector learnt about crime scene demolition from media


Former inspector Daniel Zammit only learnt that the crime scene of a 2008 had been pulled down to make space for a block of apartments through the media, a court heard this morning.

Mr Zammit was testifying during proceedings against Stephen Caruana, who stands charged with the murder of Neville Baldacchino. The victim had been shot several times on the roof of the defendant’s home in Qormi.

In 2008, the court heard that Mr Caruana, who was asleep at home with his wife and four children, was awoken by a sound. He became frightened when he discovered Mr Baldacchino inside his home “illegally”, according to his lawyers.

Inspector Keith Arnaud is prosecuting while Lawyer Giannella Demarco is defence counsel. Lawyer Stefano Filletti is assisting Dr Zammit.

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Second chance for Ecuadorian woman found guilty of forgery

The 22-year-old had altered the nationality on her Italian residence permit before requesting a copy of her police conduct, which was requested by a potential employer


A court has handed a second chance to an Ecuadorian-born woman who altered her nationality on her Italian residence permit, after it heard how her application for Italian citizenship was still awaiting approval, 13 years after she applied for it.

22-year-old Joselyn Roman was arrested at the police headquarters in Floriana yesterday, when she had tried to obtain a police conduct certificate using the altered document. She was subsequently charged with forgery offences.

Lawyer Stefano Filletti explained to magistrate Anthony Vella how the woman had resided in Italy since childhood. Unable to find employment in Italy, the woman had arrived in Malta with her Italian partner one year ago to look for a job. And find one she did, as on the day of her arrest, Roman had just been offered employment – on the condition that she present a police conduct certificate.

The prosecution recommended a suspended sentence, adding that the woman should be deported to Italy. However it was pointed out that due to the reinstatment of the Schengen agreement, the woman could simply return.

But Filletti objected strongly to the idea of handing the woman a suspended sentence, saying that it would be grossly unfair to ruin her criminal record and prejudice her for the rest of her life. “All she was asking for was a police conduct certificate, which ironically we now have in our hands and see to be clean,” the lawyer , the remark eliciting a chuckle from the magistrate.

“Her punishment is that she could not find a job,” the lawyer said. “She had every opportunity to work on the black market but chose not to…they had no place to go.” He requested the court consider handing the woman a conditional discharge.

In view of her admission, the court pronounced Roman guilty and conditionally discharged her for three years.


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Lawyer says court cannot remain passive on attacks on police

Lawyer Stefano Filletti tells court it is unacceptable that police legitimate orders are challenged in the streets and officers assaulted.




Parte Civile lawyer Stefano Filletti argued that society cannot function without police. “Citizens cannot simply assault officers because they disagree with their orders. As long as the order is legitimate, as was in this case, it is unacceptable that officers are injured while on duty”, the lawyer said.
Furthermore the injuries suffered by one of the officers severely impacted his job.
The defence argued that the police evidence was peppered with inconsistencies, even in the testimony given by the victims themselves.
Moreover, although the accused released statements incriminating each other, this does not constitute a fact, as all the accused were drunk at the time of the incident.
Police Inspector Fabian Fleri prosecuted. Dr Stefano Filletti appeared parte civile while Lawyers Noel Cutajar, Marion Camilleri, Franco Debono and Jeffrey Vella appeared for the accused.