Watch: ‘Prime suspect’ in Sliema double murder arrested

Updated 09:08 AM
Konferenza tal-aħbarijiet indirizzata mill-Kummissarju tal-Pulizija

Konferenza tal-aħbarijiet indirizzata mill-Kummissarju tal-Pulizija

Posted by The Malta Police Force on Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

A man believed by the police to be the ‘prime suspect’ in the double murder that took place in Sliema last week was arrested in today’s police raid in Floriana, Police Commissioner Angelo Gafà confirmed.

Gafà held a crime conference in light of the development, albeit a brief one. He repeatedly emphasised that investigations were at a delicate stage, and that he consequently was not in a position to reveal too many details – including on the identity of the suspect.

But he did confirm that so far, the police believe the motive to be theft. The two victims – 58-year-old Christian Pandolfino and 30-year-old Ivor Maciejowski – were known to wear a number of heavy gold chains, and the assailants appear to have stolen gold jewellery.

  • The man arrested in the Floriana raid is believed to be the prime suspect, and he was wielding a handgun when he was arrested.
  • 4 flashbang grenades – which seek to disorient a target using bright light and a loud noise – were used during the raid.
  • The police believe the motive was theft, specifically the theft of the multitude of gold chains the victims were known to wear.

19:17 And with those remarks, the crime conference is over. Thank you for following our live blog.
John Paul Cordina
19:15 "These are the details we can give right now. Please do understand that we are trying to be as transparent as we can, but investigations are at a delicate stage right now," Gafà adds.
John Paul Cordina
19:14 The MaltaToday correspondent asks a number of questions, including any potential links to the Albanian mafia and whether there were any ties between the victims and the suspect.

But once more, Gafà notes that he was not in a position to elaborate at this stage.
John Paul Cordina
19:13 So far, Gafà confirms, no stolen gold was found, though other items linked to the murder were found.
John Paul Cordina
19:13 He repeats that the at present, the motive is presumed to be theft, given the victims' propensity to wear substantial amounts of gold jewellery.
John Paul Cordina
19:12 The Police Commissioner states that it still needs to be determined whether the handgun the suspect was carrying was the same one used in the murder.
John Paul Cordina
19:11 Gafà reiterates that a handgun was seized from the suspect's possession, and could not comment further on the matter.
John Paul Cordina
19:11 TVM's correspondent questions whether the suspect resisted the arrest, in light of the fact that he was wielding a firearm.
John Paul Cordina
19:10 Gafà highlights that the police were aware that today's operation would be dangerous, and consequently took the necessary precautions, including firearms and bullet-proof vests.
John Paul Cordina
19:09 In reply to a question on how the accused was out on bail, Gafà emphasises that this was a Court matter, and that it was not prudent for him to comment.
John Paul Cordina
19:09 In reply to a question by The Malta Independent, Gafà confirms that the two other people in the building were not linked to the murder. But another person is being questioned.
John Paul Cordina
19:06 Gafà highlights that investigations are at a delicate stage, and urges the media to be prudent in their report to avoid compromising the police's efforts.
John Paul Cordina
19:05 The suspect is being detained at the police HQ. However, he was taken for a check-up after complaining of a toothache.
John Paul Cordina
19:05 The police used four stun grenades (flashbangs) in the operation. These grenades seek to disorient a target by producing a blinding flash and a loud noise.
John Paul Cordina
19:05 Gafà highlights that the police took all precautions in preparation for the raid, including the wearing of bullet-proof vests.

He highlights that the suspect was wielding a firearm when he was found.
John Paul Cordina
19:04 Two other people were inside the building when the arrest was carried out. One of them was also arrested.
John Paul Cordina
19:03 But he adds that the person, who is considered to be the prime suspect, had been tracked by the police for a number of days.

Once his Floriana hideout was identified, the police decided to carry out an arrest, on the strength of an arrest warrant issued by duty magistrate Ian Farrugia.
John Paul Cordina
19:02 Gafà confirms that a foreign national has been arrested, though emphasises that he is not in a position to confirm his identity.
John Paul Cordina
19:01 When the getaway car was discovered, various items linked to the crime were found, including clothes, items stolen from the scene of the crime as well as the numberplates – stolen from another car. Two realistic-looking replica machine guns were also found.
John Paul Cordina
19:00 Gafà states that at this point, the police are still trying to confirm what had been stolen, but said that initial indications were that the assailants made off with gold jewellery.

Though this also still needs to be confirmed, the police believe that the murder was be motivated by theft.
John Paul Cordina
18:59 He summarises what had been said at the first press conference, before confirming that six shots were fired.

Ivor Maciejowski was struck once, while Christian Pandolfino was shot four times.
John Paul Cordina
18:58 Gafà highlights that there have been six murder cases so far, and the first five have all been solved.

This, he says, confirmed the competence of the force's investigators.
John Paul Cordina
18:57 The press conference begins, with Police Commissioner Angelo Gafà starting by praising the police officers involved in investigating the double murder for the results achieved.
John Paul Cordina