The Malta Independent 17 October 2018, Wednesday

Former Libyan government official charged with having Guatemalan passport

Friday, 25 May 2018, 15:30 Last update: about 6 months ago

A former Libyan government official has denied carrying a false Guatemalan passport.

Mohammed Ali Hassan Fakrun, 51, from Benghazi, was arraigned before magistrate Gabriella Vella this morning. Inspector Mario Haber charged the man with forging or tampering with a Guatemala passport, knowingly making use of it and forging immigration documents.

Inspector Mario Haber explained that two days ago the accused was leaving for Istanbul, when immigration officers noticed that he was in possession of an apparently false Guatemalan passport.

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Fakrun, who once resided in Malta, but presently lives in Jordan and works in Turkey, replied not guilty to the charges.

Defence lawyer Giannella De Marco asked the inspector about the suspicion that the Guatemalan passport is false. He had also told the police who had allowed him to obtain the Guatemalan passport and that person was also at the depot to say so, bearing a letter from the President of Guatemala making it official, said the lawyer.

Inspector Haber replied that the Guatemalan authorities had not replied yet to police requests for information.

Bail was requested. De Marco told the court that the accused, who she said had, until recently held a high-ranking position in the Libyan government, had no prior convictions and had cooperated completely.

Fakrun lived in Malta up till 18 months ago and still had strong ties with the island, said the lawyer, giving a hotel as the man’s fixed address in Malta.

The court granted the man bail against a deposit of €1,000 and a personal guarantee of €4,000, warning him that breaching his bail conditions would result in his rearrest and the forfeiture of the €5,000 bond.

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