Three of the suspects charged over the car bomb murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia murder an the fatal shooting of Birkirkara lawyer Carmel Chircop, have made a fresh bid for bail, 50 days since the court rejected an earlier request.
Robert and Adrian Agius (known as the Maksar brothers), Jamie Vella and George Degiorgio argued through their lawyers that when denying bail to one of the brothers, the court had said proceedings were still at an early stage.
Since then no new evidence had emerged and 107 witnesses had testified. So could the Attorney General say that proceedings were still in a premature stage?
No witnesses were summoned on Wednesday and the proces verbal (the records of the magisterial inquiry) concerning the Chircop murder, that was meant to be presented during the sitting, had been held up by “administrative problems” the lawyer added.
Meanwhile, the accused were still protesting their innocence and calling for evidence to be gathered without delay.
Others had faced similar charges and had nonetheless been granted bail
Was it just because they were ‘tal-Maksar’ that they were being denied bail?
The prosecution denied the claim, insisting it was the evidence that was keeping the accused behind bars.
Earlier in the sitting, a female relative of the Agius brothers confirmed that she was willing to step in as guarantor for Adria Agius.
The defence also summoned Inspector Kevin Pulis to testify for bail purposes in respect of Robert Agius. He said Agius had always abided by court orders when granted bail in a separate drug case that had reached judgment stage last year. Agius would file a note in court whenever he intended to travel abroad while out on bail, he added.
He was ultimately cleared of drug trafficking conspiracy and declared guilty of unlawful possession of ammunition.
The court is expected to decree on the bail requests in chambers.
The case continues in August.
Inspector Kurt Zahra prosecuted, assisted by lawyer George Camilleri.
Lawyers Alfred Abela and Rene Darmanin are counsel to Agius and Vella.
Lawyer William Cuschieri is counsel to Degiorgio.
Lawyers Jason Azzopardi and Vincent Galea are representing the Caruana Galizia and Chircop families respectively.
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