Man to spend 60 days in de­ten­tion for not turn­ing up for trial by jury

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Kevin Schem­bri Or­land

A 41-year-old Żeb­buġ man who was set to stand trial by jury over ar­son charges yes­ter­day did not turn up in court.

Martin Marco Bal­dacchino stood charged with set­ting a build­ing door on fire on 24 Au­gust 2011, vol­un­tar­ily caus­ing dam­age to third-party prop­erty and com­mit­ting a crime while be­ing con­di­tion­ally dis­charged for an­other crime.

Ac­cord­ing to past re­ports, the ac­cused set fire to a door on Triq il-Kbira, Qormi, and that the dam­age was es­ti­mated to be more than €2,000.

He was out on bail and did not turn up for the sit­ting that was set to start at 9am.

Mr Jus­tice An­to­nio Mizzi gave the de­fen­dant one hour to turn up. De­fence At­tor­ney Franco De­bono said that the ac­cused was stuck in traf­fic, in Qormi. At 10am, the ac­cused was still not present.

The court or­dered that Mr Bal­dacchino be ar­rested, and spend 60 days in de­ten­tion for con­tempt of court. The trial is set to start on Thurs­day 1 De­cem­ber.

The pros­e­cu­tion then re­quested that the ac­cused’s bail be re­voked; how­ever, the pre­sid­ing judge said to leave the is­sue for now, given that 60 days de­ten­tion had been or­dered.

The case was in­ves­ti­gated by in­spec­tors Alexan­dra Zam­mit and An­thony Portelli while lawyers from the At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s of­fice Elaine Mer­cieca and Ann Marie Cu­ta­jar are prose­cut­ing.

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