Yana Mintoff Bland’s for­mer part­ner pleads not guilty to charges of ar­son, caus­ing in­jury

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Kevin Schem­bri Or­land

Ghe­o­rghe Popa, the Ro­ma­nian for­mer part­ner of Yana Mintoff Bland, was ar­raigned in court yes­ter­day and pleaded not guilty to a mul­ti­tude of charges fol­low­ing a stab­bing in­ci­dent that took place at the home of the daugh­ter of for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Dom Mintoff.

The in­ci­dent oc­curred on 24 Oc­to­ber, at around 9pm. He was charged with at­tempt­ing to cause griev­ous in­jury to both Yana Mintoff Bland, aged 65, and her 35-year-old son Daniel Main­war­ing, and also with slightly in­jur­ing them. He was also charged with be­ing in pos­ses­sion of a knife, mak­ing ver­bal threats against Yana Mintoff Bland, ha­rass­ment, caus­ing her fear, ar­son and caus­ing crim­i­nal dam­age.

Mr Popa him­self ended up in in­ten­sive care and the whole case has been shrouded in se­crecy.

What is known, how­ever, is that on the day the three suf­fered in­juries, and the Tarx­ien house was on fire.

De­liv­er­ing a brief ex­pla­na­tion of events, prose­cut­ing in­spec­tor Spirid­ione Zam­mit told the court that Mr Popa was found up on a tree. He was ad­mit­ted to the ITU, and then moved to another ward. He also un­der­went psy­chi­atric care for three days. Dur­ing this pe­riod, the pros­e­cu­tion had an ar­rest war­rant is­sued by the in­quir­ing mag­is­trate. The po­lice were given a med­i­cal cer­tifi­cate stat­ing that he was fit to be in­ter­ro­gated, and an in­ter­ro­ga­tion later took place.

Mr Popa, who works at the Palumbo Ship­yards, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

A re­quest for bail was made by De­fence At­tor­ney Ben­jamin Valen­zia, how­ever the pros­e­cu­tion quickly ob­jected. In­spec­tor Zam­mit gave three rea­sons for his ob­jec­tion, that there are eye wit­nesses who still need to tes­tify in court, that the ad­dress he gave to the po­lice is the same where the in­ci­dent took place, and due to the na­ture of the case.

Dr Joe Giglio, ap­pear­ing parte civile for Yana Mintoff Bland and her son, ar­gued that the ac­cused said in his state­ment to the po­lice that the in­ci­dent took place be­cause he was an­noyed that Yana Mintoff Bland wanted to ter­mi­nate their re­la­tion­ship as he was sus­pect­ing that she was see­ing some­one else.

”As a re­sult of this, two per­sons suf­fered stab wounds and the mag­is­te­rial in­quiry es­tab­lished that af­ter this hap­pened, the ac­cused went up to an area of the house, de­clared he felt he lost her and all he had, stabbed him­self and set the house on fire.”

“There is an im­mi­nent dan­ger if the ac­cused is let out on bail,” Dr Giglio said.

The de­fence ar­gued that ac­cord­ing to the ac­cused’s first state­ment he does not re­call set­ting the house on fire.

Mag­is­trate Gabriella Vella de­nied bail at this stage mainly due to the ac­cused’s ad­dress given to the court be­ing the same as the one where the in­ci­dent took place.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.