Mary Rose Chircop, the wife of murdered lawyer Carmel Chircop, took the stand today and detailed how her husband could have been murdered because of €600,000 main suspect Adrian Agius had owed him.
Mary Rose Chircop explained how on the day of the murder in 2015, Carmel Chircop left home at 6.45am, his usual time of departure. She tried phoning him soon after returning from an errand, but her husband failed to respond.
“I got a call on the landline. It was Carmel’s sister, a Franciscan nun. She told me to look on social media. I saw reports of ‘Lawyer shot dead’ and ‘Birkirkara lawyer shot dead,” Mary Rose Chircop said, battling back tears.
Her son, who was a third-year law student, would have been with his father had his morning lecture not been canceled.
In court, she identified Adrian Agius as the man with whom her husband had signed a deed of the constitution of debt on behalf of Erom Limited, which owned the now-defunct More Supermarket.
When director Ryan Schembri fled the island, her husband was left with about €600,000 in outstanding credit. The initial fee loaned to Erom was €750,000, however, three €50,000 payments had been made.
Mary Rose Chircop confirmed to the courts that Agius had offered a villa to settle the outstanding debt. However, Mary Rose Chircop was not a fan of the place and neither was her husband. She said they went to see the villa in July 2015, a few months before Carmel Chircop’s murder.
A few weeks later, the Chircops went to a coffee shop in Naxxar when Adrian Agius suddenly entered. She told the court that the men went to have a conversation at a separate table. However, she heard her husband tell Agius ‘so you’re going to give me payments, right?’.
On 14th September, the Chircops went on holiday to Italy for their anniversary. Soon after their arrival, her husband took a phone call.
“I heard my husband say, ‘Adrian, you’ve already skipped some payments. I’ll be away on Monday. Come to the office on Tuesday,” she said, noting that her husband did not speak in an aggressive tone.
A few weeks later, Chircop was shot in cold blood. Five months later, Mary Rose Chircop said, Agius began proceedings to cancel the deed. They eventually settled in 2017. She was paid €165,000 out of a €600,000 balance.
Police inspectors confirmed to the courts today that Mary Rose Chircop had immediately named Adrian Agius as a potential suspect in the murder – informing them about the debt.
Another inspector revealed that they had identified several calls between Chircop and Agius in the lead-up to the murder.
He was interrogated by police and told them that while they were in business together, he had a villa to guarantee should the loan have not been repaid. On the day of the murder, Agius was abroad. However, Vince Muscat has told the courts that he, George Degiorgio, and Jamie Vella had conducted the hit.
The case continues tomorrow at 8.30am.
What do you think of the testimony?