Former Nexia BT partners Brian Tonna, Manuel Castagna, Karl Cini and the firm’s manager Katrin Bondin Carter have been granted bail by the courts.
The four have been charged with a host of criminal charges stemming from the findings of two magisterial inquiries into allegations of financial crime.
Tonna and Cini have been released against a deposit of €60,000 and a personal guarantee of €90,000. They must sign a book daily and respect an 8pm to 7am curfew.
Castagna’s bail was granted against a personal guarantee of €30,000 and a deposit of €45,000. He was ordered to sign a bail book three times a week, respecting a 9pm to 7am curfew.
Bondin carter was released on the same conditions, except her personal guarantee is of €30,000 and she must sign a bail book only twice a week.
All four were ordered to deposit their identification and travel documents with the court.
In their submissions on bail, lawyers for the accused, while noting all of the previous arguments made in previous bail submissions, also argued that with proceedings two weeks in, the court had been present with ample evidence, and had heard a considerable number of witness, such that the risk of the accused tampering with evidence had been reduced even further.
The Attorney General’s office maintained that the risk were real given that investigations were ongoing. The magistrate ultimately decided to grant bail.
The four have been detained at Corradino Correctional Facility since March 20th, when they were charged following the completion of the second of the two inquiries on the basis of which they have been charged.
The first magisterial inquiry was into the allegation that Tonna had transferred €100,000 in kickbacks from the sale of Maltese passports to former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri.
Both Tonna and Schembri claimed that the transferred funds were the repayment of a loan Schembri had given Tonna when the latter was going through separation proceedings.
The second investigation centred around €650,000 transferred from Schembri to former Allied Group managing partner Adrian Hillman.
Stephen Tonna Lowell is representing Tonna and Cini. Michael Sciriha and Matthew Xuereb are representing Manuel Castagna.
Franco Debono and Amadeus Cachia are representing Bondin Carter.
Gianella De Marco is appearing for KBT Holdings.
You can read a blow-by-blow account of the day’s proceedings here.
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