Sliema double murder: Prime suspect pleads not guilty

Miguela Xuereb

A 25-year-old man who was charged with the double murder of Christian Pandolfino and Ivor Maciejowski, was remanded in custody after he was arraigned in court before Duty Magistrate Nadine Lia. The man pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against him.

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.

The prime suspect was arrested on Tuesday in a dramatic raid in Floriana. A second suspect was arrested on Wednesday night but was not arraigned in court.

The man was charged with detaining and murdering Pandolfino and Maciejowski on 18 August. The man was also accused of violent theft and stealing an amount which exceeds €2,329.37, of carrying a weapon and ammunition without the necessary licence, of buying a stolen vehicle, of stealing two sets of number plates, of making use of a vehicle with stolen number plates and of having breached bail conditions.

During the arraignment of the accused, the defence made no request for bail but asked for a clinical assessment of the accused. The defence highlighted that this was not a plea of insanity.

Relatives of Ivor Maciejowski, a British national of Polish descent, were present in the courtroom.

Police Inspectors James Grech and Colin Sheldon led the prosecution.

Lawyers Dr Joe Giglio and Roberta Bonello appeared for the families of the victims.

Lawyer Noel Bianco appeared for the accused.

On Wednesday, the police arrested a second man linked to the murder, after receiving information that a person involved in the murder was hiding in a hotel in Gżira.

12:56 Thank you for following this live blog.
Monique Agius
12:56 The man was remanded in custody.
Monique Agius
12:56 Dr Anthony Zahra will assess the accused.
Monique Agius
12:55 Relatives of Maciejowski are present in the courtroom.
Monique Agius
12:52 The court suggests a name of a psychiatrist.

Police Inspector Grech says that he was going to suggest that it is first the medical team at CCF that examines the accused. He asks to leave the courtroom to consult as the Magistrate would require the name of the psychiatrist.

Dr Roberta Bonello who is representing the families of the victims, presented a note to be part of the proceedings.
Monique Agius
12:52 The prosecution does not object.

The court upholds the request.
Monique Agius
12:49 The defence mentions that the accused went through a trauma.

The prosecution asks the defence to elaborate on the trauma.

The defence explains that the accused needs an assessment of his current state of mind. The defence clarifies that this examination is not a plea of legal insanity.

The request is for a clinical examination of the accused to assess any medical treatment he might require.
Monique Agius
12:46 The defence is not requesting bail at this stage of the proceedings.

The defence has made a request for a psychiatric assessment of the accused to assess his current state of mind. The defence has also made a request on behalf of the accused to be given all the assistance he might need.
Monique Agius
12:44 The court has ordered a freezing of his assets and bank accounts, after a request was made by the prosecution.
Monique Agius
12:44 The suspect pleads not guilty.
Monique Agius
12:42 The 25-year-old man was born in Tirana, Albania. He resides in Floriana.

The suspect tells the court that before he used to wash cars but he never managed to hold down a stable job.
Monique Agius
12:42 The prime suspect is asked to stand. The court will now validate the arrest.
Monique Agius
12:42 The Police Inspector presents a copy of the passport.
Monique Agius
12:41 He explains that he had identified the suspect. The police learnt that the suspect was absconding and was not signing the bail book.

A warrant of arrest was issued and the prime suspect was later tracked down and arrested.
Monique Agius
12:40 Inspector Grech explains that the police were investigated the double murder which took place in Sliema. He says that from the investigations and the CCTV footage they had a clear picture of the assailants.
Monique Agius
12:40 The accused confirms that he understands and speaks English.
Monique Agius
12:38 Police Inspectors James Grech and Colin Sheldon are leading the prosecution. The proceedings will be in English.
Monique Agius
12:37 Prime suspect enters the courtroom. He's wearing a white t-shirt, grey shorts and flip-flops. We enter after him.
Monique Agius
12:34 We're waiting outside courtroom 12. The prime suspect was spotted earlier being escorted by the police.
Monique Agius
12:25 Good afternoon and welcome to Newsbook.com.mt live blog.
Monique Agius
Police release two men who were arrested with the prime suspect
Sliema double murder: 2 men released without a charge