Three criminals well-known to the Police have been found not guilty of being involved in an armed robbery 11 years ago at Marsa in which €42,000 were stolen. They were cleared of accusations when the presiding Magistrate decreed there was lack of evidence to convict them.
The three, 38-year-old Darren Debono from Marsascala known as “it-Topo”, 50-year-old Alfred Degiorgio also from Marsascala and known as “il-Fulu” and 53-year-old Vincent Muscat from Msida known as “il-Koħħu” were found not guilty of an armed robbery after a hold-up on an employee of the company Valhmor Borg Limited at Marsa in March 2004.
Magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera decided that the only witness in the case was not credible and his evidence was not corroborated by other evidence. Beside that, the victims could not identity any of the accused as the robbers had balaclavas.
Anthony Gafa, the only witness who at the time worked as a delivery man with the company had admitted his complicity in the case when he informed the Police that he had given information to third parties in connection with the robbery.
The Court also took into consideration that the three accused had only been charged in Court last year, ten years after the incident. This made it extremely difficult for witnesses to remember exactly what had happened at the time.
It was explained in Court that delivery man Gafa sold meat and then deposited the money in the company’s HSBC account. When asked by the prosecution whether he remembered telling a CID Inspector that three weeks before the robbery Darren Debono had asked him whether he still worked at Valhmor Borg, Gafa said he could not remember.
In his testimony, Arthur Guzman who works as Financial Controller with the company said that on 26th March 2004 at about four ‘o clock in the afternoon two hooded men had entered his office and demanded he hand over money. He said that one of them had struck him on the head with a pistol because he did had not responded immediately. He said he could not recognise anybody because they were all hooded.
Police Constable Robert Ebejer testified that when Gafa had been interrogated by Police in 2004 he had mentioned three persons, Debono, Degiorgio and Muscat, the three accused.
The Court also heard that finger prints did not provide any positive results.
The Magistrate concluded that with so many doubts it could not possibly determine that the three men had committed the robbery and they were thus cleared of all charges.