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Mangion Walker murder | Suspect refuses to testify against man accused of hiding body

Andrew Mangion, suspected of murdering his wife, Eleanor Mangion Walker, has refused to testify in the compilation of evidence against the man accused of hiding her body

matthew_agius
Matthew Agius
11 January 2017, 10:47am
Last updated on 11 January 2017, 2:17pm
The court registered that the witness, Andrew Mangion, had refused to testify
The court registered that the witness, Andrew Mangion, had refused to testify
Murder suspect Andrew Mangion has refused to testify in the compilation of evidence against the man accused of hiding the body of his alleged murder victim, Eleanor Mangion Walker. 

The compilation of evidence against Kristyan Zekic, who is accused of helping to hide Mangion Walker's body and breaching bail conditions related to another ongoing criminal case in which he is a defendant, continued this morning before magistrate Ian Vella.

Drs Marie Therese Camilleri and Safraz Ali submitted their report on the postmortem. “There was a lot of trauma, mainly on the head...the massive trauma was on the head. There were fractures of the skull, lacerations of the brain.” Death was due to an intracranial haemorrhage caused mainly by the skull fracture, Camilleri said. Asked to clarify what she meant by laceration, she replied “the brain tissue was actually torn because of the blunt trauma.”

The man accused of Mangion Walker's murder, her estranged husband Andrew Mangion, took the witness stand. Inspector Keith Arnaud informed the court that Zekic's lawyer was working in Gozo and could not attend this morning's sitting.

Mangion is undergoing separate proceedings, where he is charged with wilful homicide. Asked whether he wants to testify or not, he said it depended on what the questions were about.

The reply appeared to rile the magistrate. “I don't know, maybe about a chicken dinner you once had?” “You have to decide for yourself. I am not here to give any advice. I'm not here to decide for you," said the magistrate, his voice rising. "You have the right to decide that you want to keep your mouth shut. I'm here to protect rights and act according to law.”

“Ok, it will be like that,” Mangion replied. The court registered that the witness had refused to testify.

Zekic's defence team, lawyers Giannella De Marco and Stephen Tonna Lowell protested that the witnesses had been summoned for nothing. “Why summon the autopsy experts when you have the defence saying we agree that she died as a result of a crime, and how she died has nothing to do with the case in question? ” objected De Marco.

Heated exchanges followed with De Marco and Tonna Lowell accusing Inspector Arnaud of dragging his feet. When an Identity Malta officer was brought in to confirm the identity of the accused, the defence argued that Zekic’s arraignment had taken place six months ago but the prosecution was still attempting to confirm the man’s identity.

The defence reacted with displeasure when told that a number of police officers who had been summoned to testify today could not attend because they had been assigned to duties relating to Malta's EU Presidency. Inspector Arnaud protested that this was a matter beyond his control.

De Marco pointed out that the six months that had passed since the arraignment meant that Zekic had effectively already been imprisoned for close to the maximum sentence that could be imposed on the charges.

Inspector Arnaud argued that the prosecution's witnesses were all relevant to the case at hand, adding that Scene of the Crime Officers, who were yet to testify, had found traces of Zekic’s DNA at the crime scene.

Magistrate Ian Farrugia warned the Inspector that all remaining witnesses would have to be summoned for the next sitting, after which the prosecution's evidence would not be allowed to present further evidence.

matthew_agius
Court reporter Matthew Agius is a Legal Procurator and Commissioner for Oaths. Prior to re...
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