The Maltese Criminal Court has granted bail to ex-lawyer Patrick Spiteri, just days before Christmas.
The court argued that Spiteri, who was diagnosed with Behcet’s Syndrome, should not be held in prison as the environment was not fit for his condition, which was allegedly worsening.
Patrick Spiteri, the ex-lawyer who was accused of misappropriation and fraud to the tune of €7.4 million, has been granted bail after an arduous and prolonged set of bail cases.
His bail is now set at €15,000 alongside a personal guarantee of €25,000.
Patrick made headlines after he fled to the UK and had seven European arrest warrants issued for him. He was extradited back to Malta last May on five local charges.
Mr. Spiteri was given bail due to his diagnosis of Behcet’s Syndrome, a disease that causes blood vessel inflammation throughout the body. However, the bail did not come easy as Mr. Spiteri’s lawyer, Dr. Stefan Filletti, explained to Lovin Malta.
“Mr. Spiteri was originally charged with 8 cases, and they launched a legal battle in the UK to bring him back, and when they did the UK courts reduced his charges from eight charges to five charges,” he said.
He was granted bail due to his condition, where he claimed that he had developed skin lesions all over his body, as well as ulcers and even genital lesions.
A court-appointed doctor, who confirmed his diagnosis, said that the two worst things for someone with Behcet’s Syndrome are smoking and stress – “two things prison, and even Mt. Carmel, are known for,” said Dr. Filletti.
However, before he was granted bail, he had to undergo a long legal battle. His five cases were given to five different magistrates, in a development that Dr. Filletti found very unusual.
“When he came to Malta, his five cases were distributed to five different magistrates. This guy had to apply for bail five separate times,” said Dr. Filletti.
Not only that, but each of his bail requests were met by a separate appeal from the Attorney General, doubling the amount of sittings he had.
“I accuse the Attorney General of playing a lottery here. You cannot have a bail decree by the court, then have the Attorney General appealing the bail decree in another case in the same court. The criminal court has to be consistent. This is a lottery, this is wrong, this is the opposite of justice,” he said.
Dr. Filletti says that the Attorney General attempted to play judges against each other in this case, trying to create a situation where the “bail seemed to be based upon the presiding judge.” Dr. Filletti even said that one judge, Judge Grima, had said that the Attorney General’s appeal was “wrong.”
Either way, Patrick Spiteri is now looking forward to a spending the Christmas holidays with his family, who are said to be “ecstatic, especially his wife.”