Vegetable vendor menaced after allegations he defrauded three persons of €25,000

Noel Bonello, aged 42 and a vegetable vendor, was granted bail after appearing in Court this afternoon where he was charged with having defrauded three other persons.

Bonello who in recent days was attacked because of an alleged case of fraud entered a plea of not guilty of the charges he faces, including that of misappropriation.

Defence lawyers Franco Debono and Noel Bezzina aid the accused has cooperated with the Police and has already reimbursed €5,000 from the total.

However, the Prosecution led by Police Inspectors Wayne Camilleri and Shaun Pawney said the accused has only done this because among other matters he was menaced and threatened in connection with this case. They stated that in connection with this aggression Police are investigation a report that was lodged last Saturday.

Magistrate Charmaine Galea observed the accused had already been handed a Probation Order for a period of three years in connection with similar accusations and had been given a chance by Court but he failed to observe this. She said when the probation term expires, matters revert to square one.

While Bonello’s defence requested bail, the Prosecution objected because of the possibility of the risk of tampering with evidence, and also because the alleged three victims are in a vulnerable position.

It was added that further matters may emerge because Police investigations are ongoing.

The Court accepted the plea for bail against a deposit of €2,000 and a personal guarantee of €10,000. Bonello was ordered to sign-in at a Police Station three times a week and must not leave his residence between 10 pm and 5 am.

He was also warned not to approach any Prosecution witnesses.

The Court also accepted the Prosecution’s request not to announce the locality where the accused lives to ensure the personal security of the names of the alleged victims.