Tal-Maksar brothers Robert and Adrian Agius, as well their associate Jamie Vella have been denied bail once again by a court.
Robert Agius and Jamie Vella have been charged with supplying the bomb that killed Daphne Caruana Galizia along with other crimes, while Adrian Agius has been charged with ordering the 2015 murder of lawyer Carmel Chircop.
The Maksar brothers are understood to be two of the most prominent members of Malta’s criminal underworld with interests in a number of criminal activities, both in Malta and abroad.
The police recently uncovered a stash of weapons that had been hidden on the seabed near Baħrija, possibly after the brothers had been tipped off about their impending arrest.
They were arrested and charged in court in February.
In a court application filed last week, they argued that the court had heard over 100 witnesses and that no new evidence had emerged. It could no longer be argued that their detention was justified due to the fact that proceedings were at an early stage.
Others facing similar charges had been granted bail by this stage in proceedings, they argued.
The court, presided over by Magistrate Caroline Farrugia Frendo, noted that bail was not an automatic right. It observed that while it was true that most civilian witnesses had already testified, the acts of the inquiry into Chircop’s murder had not yet been concluded.
This inquiry as well as that into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia were yet to be submitted in the acts of the case and the Attorney General could still request that more witnesses be called to testify after this happens.
The magistrate pointed to the serious nature of the accusations against the men as well as to judgments by the European Court of Human Rights stating that it was justifiable to keep somebody in custody in instances where their release would disturb public order.
The request for bail was denied.
Lawyers Alfred Abela and Rene Darmanin are appearing for the Agius brothers and Vella while inspector Kurt Zahra and lawyer George Camilleri are prosecuting.
What do you make of this decision?