Youths accused of Saviour Gaffarena’s murder to face trial

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Two youths who stand accused of the murder of Saviour Gaffarena and the attempted murder of his 17-year old cousin, Vincent, last month have been sent to trial.

In a decree delivered by Magistrate Nadine Lia, the court declared that there is sufficient evidence for the two 18-year-olds of Ħal Kirkop to be indicted.

The two teens have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The case happened on 29 July at Ħal Millieri.

The two teenagers allegedly shot at and killed 27-year-old Saviour Gaffarena. His 17-year-old cousin, Vince Gaffarena, was also shot at twice. He then drove the car to Imqabba as he sought for assistance. Saviour Gaffarena was pronounced dead shortly after, while Vince Gaffarena gave the names of the accused to the police.

During the first hearing held last Thursday, the defence teams argued that the accused should be discharged since the evidence presented by the prosecution fell short of the necessary degree of probability for them to be placed under a bill of indictment. The arguments were not upheld by the court.

Lawyer Arthur Azzopardi who is assisting one of the accused, made submissions for bail. He argued that the only civilian witness still to testify was Vince Gaffarena himself, who had already given his version to the police.

The defence lawyer underlined that there was no risk of tampering with evidence, adding that the youth had a clean police conduct.

The defence also argued that the youths should not be held at the Corradino Correctional Facility. Lawyer Giannella de Marco argued that the accused should be detained at the Young Offenders Unit at Mtaħleb.

The court is expected to decree on this request as well as on the request for bail.

The case will continue in September.