The Malta Independent 23 April 2024, Tuesday
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Laptop used by Marsaxlokk priest facing money laundering charges believed to have been ‘lost’

Tuesday, 20 February 2024, 13:04 Last update: about 3 months ago

The laptop belonging to the former parish priest of Marsaxlokk charged with misappropriation, money laundering, fraud and forgery, could not be found in the Courts’ strongroom, according to a court expert.

Keith Cutajar said that on 24 January 2024 he was unable to find Luke Seguna’s laptop after this had been already exhibited in court, saying the error could be down to wrong references in the paperwork. The Court has now ordered that during next sitting a representative of the exhibits section of the courts be present to explain why the laptop could not be traced.

Fr Luke Seguna is believed to have had a €300,000 discrepancy between his declared income and his bank accounts, which led to a criminal investigation into the provenance of hundreds of thousands of euros deposited in various bank accounts and his collection of five motorbikes and two cars, despite his meagre clergyman’s income.

He denies having misappropriated some €500,000 donated by 150 parishioners over a span of ten years. It is also alleged that Seguna spent some of the money he had received from parishioners, on internet porn.

The Curia’s financial controller, Roseanne Abdilla, also testified on Tuesday morning, saying that in examining the Marsaxlokk parish accounts, there were instances where inflows in were much higher than the declared income, with discrepancies between deposits and receipts issues.

Each time a clarification was requested, the parish would say that receipts were still being updated or issued. From time to time, circulars would be sent to all parishes requesting adherence to fiscal rules and cash reconciliation, but Abdilla said she her only visibility of parish accounts was by way of donation receipts by cash or cheque by parishioners.

The case continues.

Prosecutors Ramon Bonett Sladden and Andrea Zammit prosecuted representing the Office of the Attorney General

Lawyers Jose Herrera, Alex Scerri Herrera and Matthew Xuereb are defence counsel. Lawyers Stefano Filletti and Christina Sutton are representing the Malta Archdiocese.

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