Sliema double murder: “Let’s go. We’re done here”

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Police Inspector and chief prosecutor in the double murder of Christian Pandolfino and Ivor Maciejowski, James Grech, told the court that the prime suspect in the murder had told 36-year-old Viktor Dragomanski – the second person to be arraigned in connection to the case – “let’s go. We’re done here.”

Doctor turned banker Christian Pandolfino (58) and art dealer Ivor Maciejowski, 30, were shot dead at their residence on Locker Street Sliema on Tuesday 18 August at around 10.20pm.

Dragomanski who was was arrested on Wednesday 26 August, appeared before Magistrate Joe Mifsud on Wednesday.

During the proceedings, the chief prosecutor and a police officer testified.

In brief:

  • Viktor Dragomanski was walking his dog when Muka and Kristiansen stopped him and offered him an unspecified “job” which he accepted without questioning;
  • The accused told the police that the two other men had no plan;
  • He was worried when he saw Muka carrying a gun;
  • After the murder took place, Kristiansen booked a taxi to the street on which Dragomanski’s residence in Sliema was located;
  • “He ruined my life in 4 minutes” – Dragomanski blamed Muka for the murder;
  • Dragomanski knew Kristiansen more than he knew Muka.

The prosecutor told the court that the Dragomanski chose to speak to the police without legal assistance. The accused told the police how he tagged along in the murder without knowing what the “job” is after Daniel Muka, the prime suspect, and the third suspect, saw him on the street.

The accused told the police that he stayed in the car and only went to the residence when the third suspect called him inside.

Once inside the residence, according to the accused’s statement to the police he was under shock when he saw the two men dead. Dragomanski told the police that Muka allegedly told him “let’s go. We’re done here.”

14:02 Thank you for following us.
Monique Agius
13:58 The next sitting is on 25 September at 10am.
Monique Agius
13:58 No more witnesses will testify today.
Monique Agius
13:57 The investigation showed that the accused lived on Carmel Street, where the taxi trip ended after the double murder.
Monique Agius
13:55 The police were informed about the whereabouts of Dragomanski.

The officer says that the accused was in room 5507. Dragomanski tried escaping by jumping from roof tops, he was later apprehended in the street.
Monique Agius
13:55 Muka was identified from CCTV footage and DNA.
Monique Agius
13:55 Jesper Kristiansen booked the taxi from Msida to Carmel Street, Sliema.
Monique Agius
13:54 One of the suspects was seen outside Dolce Sicilia without a mask.
Monique Agius
13:53 The officer testifies on the items found in the car.

in the brown female handbag business cards belonging to Paula Pandolfino were found.
Monique Agius
13:52 Cut cable ties were found holding up the number plates and also on the ground.
Monique Agius
13:52 Police were instructed to patrol the area where the car was last seen.
Monique Agius
13:50 The police officer is testifying on the route taken after the murder and from where the CCTV footage was collected.
Monique Agius
13:48 Police Officer Josef Gerada takes the witness stand.
Monique Agius
13:47 Grech says that the gloves were not analysed. He says that he could not exclude whether the gloves belonged to the accused or the woman with whom he shared the room.
Monique Agius
13:46 Dr Brincat starts questioning.
Monique Agius
13:45 Dr Giglio: Did I understand correctly that Dragomanski help Muka change number plates?

Grech: Yes. He admitted that he was the one to fold them and place the boot.
Monique Agius
13:44 Dr Giglio: The gloves presented here today, does it result they were used during the robbery?

Grech: Yes, one of the suspects was wearing black gloves while the others were wearing blue gloves.

Dr Giglio: Did Dragomanski acknowledge that the gloves are his?

Grech: No, honestly I found about the gloves later.
Monique Agius
13:42 Dr Giglio: Did Dragomanski indicate that he decided to leave and abandon the job? Did he tell you why he went into the house?

Grech: No. It was evident, because he wanted to earn the money as he said.
Monique Agius
13:41 Dragonmanski remained in the car in his seat. According to his statement, the accused remained behind because everything was disorganized and he was afraid after he saw Muka carrying the gun.

Dragonmanski cautioned Muka not to use the gun for any reason.
Monique Agius
13:40 Giglio: Do you know who is sitting where in the car?

Grech: Dragomanski was sitting behind the passenger's seat where Kristiansen was sitting while Muka was driving.
Monique Agius
13:39 Grech tells the court that Dragomanski was happy to earn some money.
Monique Agius
13:38 Dr Giglio asks about the relationship between the three.

Dragonmanski who worked as a security knew Kristiansen more than Muka. Kristiansen would hang out at the bars where Dragonmanski worked.

He knew Muka from Paceville.
Monique Agius
13:38 Magistrate Mifsud: Do you have a name for the chubby guy?

Grech: Jesper Kristiansen.
Monique Agius
13:35 Police Inspector refers to Muka's statement.

He says that Muka and the other person presumably rang the bell and Pandolfino opened the door.

The other person went to search for Dragomanski and the door had closed. Police Inspector Grech says presumably the door closed and they forced it open.

Grech says they did not clarify whether the door was forced open in the first instance or subsequently.
Monique Agius
13:35 Dr Giglio cross examines the witness.

Can you clarify the entry into the house? he asks.
Monique Agius
13:34 After his arraignment, the police raided his residence in Sliema in the presence of his housemate. The police found the sleeveless top and baseball cap used by the accused during the crime,
Monique Agius
13:33 Three audiovisual interviews with Dragonmanski are exhibited in court. Two statements were released on 27 August and a statement was released on 28 August.
Monique Agius
13:32 Police Inspector Grech says that the accused did enter the house after the gun shots were heard.
Monique Agius
13:30 Dragomanski took his dog home and joined them.

When they arrived in Sliema, they told him it was a burglary. He waited in the car. He saw Muka carrying a gun and warned him to use it cautiously. It was the third suspect who had gone for him in the car.

Dragomanski told the police that he saw Pandolfino taking his last breath.

He went upstairs and saw the second victim.

Muka came out of the bedroom and told him: "Let's go. We're done here."

Dragomanski told the police that he was in shock and had to be moved out.
Monique Agius
13:29 On the day of the murder, Dragomanski was walking his dog when Muka and the other guy stopped and told him they had a job and invited him to join.

He told the police that there was no plan, it was disorganized.

Dragomanski did not know whether it had to do with drugs, a fight or a burglary.
Monique Agius
13:27 Viktor Dragomanski was willing to talk. He told the police that he was very angry, saying that Daniel Muka had ruined his life in 4 minutes.

He was informed about his rights, but insisted on talking. He says that he ended his statement on 3am.
Monique Agius
13:26 The police received information that Viktor Dragomanski was staying in a hotel room at Bluebay hotel on Ponsby Street, Gzira.

The police collected his belongings. A pair of gloves were found. Police Inspector exhibits the gloves.
Monique Agius
13:24 Cameras at Dolce Sicilia both inside and outside show one of the suspects entering the shop at 10.53pm.

An employee who was questioned in relation to the case, told the police that the man had asked for the WiFi password of the shop.

Daniel Muka was arrested on 25 August at around 1pm. The police seized a glock pistol and a pendant belonging to Pandolfino.
Monique Agius
13:23 "I could recognize Daniel Muka from the still image," Grech says.
Monique Agius
13:20 The VW Tiguan was towed for more forensic examinations.

It was observed that no cars left the parking area.

The CCTV footage showed three men walking down Triq Ursolini at 10.44pm.

The three men were seen stopping at the Msida bus stop on Marina Street at 10.47pm.

The CCTV footage from Brown's Pharmacy shows a tall man walking ahead of other two. The tall man [Daniel Muka] was seen drinking and had an elbow support.

A police officer at the Valletta Police Station confirmed that Muka was wearing an elbow support when he signed the bail book some days earlier.

Footage from a side camera on a bus showed the three men waiting together.
Monique Agius
13:19 A black female handbag was found in the car.

Masks, gloves, wigs, an imitation of an AK-47, an imitation of another rifle, and the stolen number plates used during the commission of the crime were found in the luggage boot.
Monique Agius
13:17 After the shooting incident, the VW Tiguan went through Tigne to Ruldoph Street, to Reggie Miller Street onto Kappara then on Regional Road towards Santa Venera onto Msida. It stopped in Triq Ursolini Pieta at 10.33pm.

A police officer found the car in a parking area with a different set of stolen number plates.
Monique Agius
13:16 The investigators submitted a request to Transport Malta to check for any sightings of the number plates of interest.

The number plates were used on a Peugeot 107.
Monique Agius
13:14 The investigation team collected footage following the movements of the cars.

Licence plates were stolen from Paceville.

The VW Tiguan was reported stolen on 24 September 2018.
Monique Agius
13:14 The chubby male was seen coming out and going to the car. The two men were seen returning to the house.
Monique Agius
13:12 Grech says that he spoke to Bajada on the footage.

10.10pm Christian Pandolfino was seen returning home from a family dinner which finished around 10pm.

10.13pm The getaway car was seen scouting the area.

It then parked some 80m away from the residence.

10.19pm: A tall male subject and a shorter chubby male wearing a black trousers with a white stripe, a base ball cap and a surgical mask were seen walking to the house.
Monique Agius
13:11 Magistrate Ian Farrugia who is leading the inquiry was on site. Court experts including Martin Bajada who is tasked with collecting the CCTV footage, were also on site.
Monique Agius
13:11 Pandolfino was shot five times.

Maciejowski was shot dead from the stairs between the first and second landing. It appears that the victim was proceeding downstairs after hearing the shots.
Monique Agius
13:09 Pandolfino was found lying a few meters from the door in his underwear.

Ransacking inside the house was minimal.

The two victims had missing jewelry. it was evident that after killing them, the perpetrators snatched gold necklaces off their neck.

Pandolfino used to wear eight necklaces. There were several pendants on the floor indicating that necklaces were missing.

A lever was used to force open the door.
Monique Agius
13:07 Grech says that he was informed by control room about a shooting incident on 18 August that took place on Locker Street, Sliema.

Three male subjects were seen entering the residence in Sliema and were seen leaving in a white Volkswagen.

An eyewitness was smoking a cigarette on the balcony saw the three suspects entering and leaving the residence.

Another eyewitness saw the three male suspects leaving. He had come out after hearing the shots.
Monique Agius
13:06 Police Inspector James Grech takes the witness stand.
Monique Agius
13:05 The accused is escorted inside the courtroom. He is wearing an orange boiler suit.
Monique Agius
13:04 The proceedings will be in English. The court is informed that the accused understands English.
Monique Agius
13:02 Where is the accused? Magistrate Mifsud asks.

They're bringing him up, Police Inspector James Grech replies.
Monique Agius
13:02 Magistrate Joe Mifsud enters the courtroom.
Monique Agius
13:01 We have just entered the courtroom.

Present in the courtroom are Legal Aid lawyer Joe Brincat, the prosecutors, and parte civile lawyers.
Monique Agius
12:51 Good afternoon and welcome to this live blog. will be reporting live from Hall 22.
Monique Agius

Dragonmanski was charged with the couple’s murder on 18 August, theft, extortion, possession of a weapon during the commission of the offences, handling stolen goods, stealing a vehicle and switching its number plates with other stolen ones. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Police Inspectors James Grech and Colin Sheldon are leading the prosecution.

Legal aid lawyer Dr Joe Brincat is appearing for the accused.

Lawyers Joe Giglio and Roberta Bonello appeared parte civile for the Pandolfino and Maciejowski family.