480 hours of community service for burying Court documents

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Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

A Court employee has been ordered to work 480 hours’ worth of community service after burying evidence by hiding files related to a drug trafficking case.

58 year old Edwin Vassallo was accused of hiding documents, which were located in the public archives, of a particular Court case on the 27th of April. He is believed to have passed these documents on to another public officer by paying him a sum of money.

The Court heard how on the same day, the Police received a report stating that documents of the case against Angel Attard were stolen from the Court building in Valletta. A magisterial inquiry was appointed, together with further police investigations.

A Police statement revealed that the last persons to have been in contact with the documents were Joseph Bezzina, the messenger, and Edwin Vassallo, the accused.

Bezzina stated that when Vassallo approached him, Bezzina asked him to hide some Court documents. Bezzina admitted that he accepted this offer and held the documents in the secret Chamber number 11. Eventually Bezzina realised that the documents were no longer there and reported this to his superiors.

On the other hand, the accused stated that it was Bezzina who approached him a few weeks back. Bezzina allegedly offered Vassallo between €5,000 and €10,000. Vasallo stated that he passed the documents onto Bezzina, but was unaware of where he put the files afterwards. He added that at first, he did not want to accept Bezzina’s offer.

Magistrate Joe Mifsud recommended that the community service is carried out at Kalkara’s Parish Centre, under the supervision of Fr Brian Gialanze. Vassallo was also put under probation for three years, and was asked to pay for half of the costs incurred by the experts, which accumulate to €2,784 within three years.

The Prosecution was led by Inspector Frank Anthony Tabone.