The Malta Independent 15 August 2020, Saturday

Updated: Two teenagers plead not guilty to Mqabba murder

Friday, 31 July 2020, 17:37 Last update: about 15 days ago

Two men in their teens have been charged with murder and attempted murder this evening, following Wednesday’s fatal shooting in Mqabba.

Leon Debono and Owen Schembri , aged 19 and 18, were arrested in Kirkop where they lived, shortly after the murder. They were arraigned before duty magistrate Ian Farrugia just after 7pm.

Saviour Gaffarena, aged 27, was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head in triq il-Konvoj ta’ Santa Marija, Mqabba at around 11:30pm on Wednesday. His cousin, 17 year-old Vince Gaffarena was shot in the chest and the face. Inspector Keith Arnaud told the court that the driver had given the police the names of the accused.

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Inspector Arnaud told the court that the men were shot in Qrendi in the il-Maqluba area and that Vince Gaffarena had driven himself and his cousin to Mqabba, where the police were alerted.

The accused were accused of the murder of Saviour Gaffarena, the attempted murder and grievous wounding of Vince Gaffarena. They were also accused of possession of an unlicensed firearm and breaching the peace.

19 year-old Debono told the court that he is an unemployed carpenter. He pleaded not guilty.

Schembri, 18, also unemployed, also entered a plea of not guilty.

Bail was not requested at this stage.

Lawyers Alfred Abela, Arthur Azzopardi appeared for Schembri. Lawyer Giannella De Marco was defence counsel to Debono.

Inspectors Keith Arnaud, Kurt Zahra and Melvin Camilleri  prosecuted.

Lawyers Mark Refalo and James D’Agostino appeared parte civile.

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