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