Mr Justice Michael Mallia in the first hall of the civil court in its constitutional jurisdiction rejected a request by murder-accused Kenneth Gafa against the attorney general for being held in preventive custody.
Gafa pleaded he does not have the means to pay the deposit imposed by the court for bail, so he cannot be allowed bail. Gafa, 39 of Marsa, is charged with the murder of his former lover, Christina Sammut, 40 of Rabat on December 11, 2010 in Mgarr.
The court imposed a deposit of €15,000, and a €25,000 personal guarantee for him to be allowed bail.
He has instituted several cases arguing the court cannot allow him to be kept under arrest but Mr Justice Mallia agreed with a court’s ruling to deny the bail request because of fear that evidence would be tampered with.
The accused argues that the biggest obstacle to his release is the deposit of €15,000, which he could not pay. Facts showed that though he had a right for freedom, he could not have that because of the bail conditions. Those who had money and could pay a deposit which was even higher than that imposed on him, would be given bail.
The accused had said he had had several jobs, including as a bus driver, a horse trainer,and others, but he could not work since his arrest. The court said it was the duty of the accused to show what he earned, what his savings are, and to show what all his assets are. He had presented a copy of his self-assessments, drawn up for tax purposes, for the years 1998-2011, and nothing else.
Where an accused submits that the deposit imposed must be low, the accused must show what he could deposit, by indicating what property and assets he holds even, if necessary, by presenting researches in the public registry about immovable property he may own. He must show not only that he does not have the money for the deposit, but also that he could not find anyone who could help by standing guarantee.
The accused must faithfully furnish sufficient information and if he fails to do this he could not then complain that the court was not being just with him. On the basis of the proof presented by Gafa, and considering the seriousness of the crime and the sentence which applies, Mr Justice Mallia did not find that the criminal courts had been unjustified or unreasonable in their conditions for bail.