The Malta Independent 15 November 2018, Thursday

Traces Of gunshot residue found on manbut he insists he did not fire a weapon

Malta Independent Tuesday, 9 January 2007, 00:00 Last update: about 5 years ago

Although investigators found traces of gunshot residue on a man who is the main witness in the murder case of Baron Francis Sant Cassia in 1988, the man in court yesterday insisted that he had not fired a weapon for a long time before the murder.

Angelo Caruana, who had been declared a hostile witness by the prosecution during a previous court sitting, insisted that even though gunshot residue was found, he had not shot a firearm.

Mr Caruana was summoned to testifying for the third time yesterday after the court ordered him to re-appear in court because his evidence during previous court sittings was conflicting.

Baron Sant Cassia, 68, was murdered in cold blood outing his home, Castello Zammitello, in Mgarr on 27 October 1988.

Mr Caruana testified in the compilation of evidence against 51-year-old Carmel Camilleri, from Mosta, who is pleading not guilty to murdering the baron outside the home. Baron Sant Cassia died as a result of a single gunshot to his head.

During the last sitting of the compilation of evidence against Mr Camilleri - on 16 October last year - the prosecution had declared Mr Caruana as a hostile witness in view of conflicting evidence he gave in court. But yesterday, the prosecution said it was not declaring the witness as hostile any longer, at least at this stage of the proceedings.

During yesterday's sitting, the prosecution, after Mr Caruana had been cautioned, confronted him with conflicting statements he had released to the police. Mr Caruana said he got to know about Baron Sant Cassia's murder the following day and said that when he was questioned by police, he said that on the day of the murder he had been watching television with his wife.

Yesterday he said he never entered Castello Zammitello although in a previous statement released to police he said the baron had asked him to paint his windows and doors.

When told about the gunshot residue, Mr Caruana yesterday insisted that it had been a long time before the murder that he had shot a weapon. He said he did not shoot a firearm and neither was he close to anyone who was shooting a weapon.

Earlier during yesterday's sitting, which is being presided over by magistrate Lawrence Quintano, Police Superintendent Pierre Calleja said that when police took Mr Camilleri on site, he explained exactly where he was and told them that he shot the baron from behind a wall opposite his house.

The case continues.

Police Superintendent Peter Paul Zammit and Police Inspector Christopher Pullicino are prosecuting.

Dr Jason Azzopardi and Dr Kris Busietta appeared for the accused.

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