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Disbarred lawyer Patrick Spiteri gets elderly parents to act as bail guarantors

Elderly parents of disbarred lawyer Patrick Spiteri, facing slew of fraud charges, tell court they will keep errant son at their home and bear responsibility if he fails to appear for a court sitting

matthew_agius
Matthew Agius
1 August 2017, 3:43pm
Patrick Spiteri, who remains in custody after being extradited to Malta to face fraud, misappropriation and forgery charges of approximately €7.4 million
Patrick Spiteri, who remains in custody after being extradited to Malta to face fraud, misappropriation and forgery charges of approximately €7.4 million
The elderly parents of disbarred lawyer Patrick Spiteri have told a court that they were prepared to keep him at their home and would bear the responsibility if he failed to appear for a court sitting.

Spiteri, who remains in custody after being extradited to Malta to face fraud, misappropriation and forgery charges of approximately €7.4 million.

Joseph and Maria Spiteri, 90 and 85 years old respectively, were present in magistrate Josette Demicoli's courtroom on Wednesday as their son requested bail.

The frail couple were helped up to the witness stand where defence lawyer Stefano Filletti explained that their son had asked them to stand in for him as guarantors.

“What does that mean?” the father asked. Filletti clarified that if the court opted to grant their son bail on condition that he reside with them, they would bear the responsibility for any breach of Spiteri's bail conditions. “Are you ready to accept him in your home?” the lawyer asked.

Maria Spiteri said she did, saying that her son was always welcome at their home and that there was more than enough room for him. “I know that he will not break my heart,” the woman said, voice quavering.

Magistrate Josette Demicoli, noted the defence's suggestion that final submissions on the request for bail be heard after a medical report is submitted by a court expert who had been appointed to examine whether prison conditions were harming the accused's health.

In a previous sitting, Spiteri had told the court that he had been diagnosed with Behcet’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes neurological damage, genital, throat and mouth ulcers and skin lesions.

The court had been told how the conditions at Corradino Correctional Facility were exacerbating his medical condition. A decree on bail is expected to be issued in the coming days.

Assistant Police Commissioner Ian Abdilla is prosecuting. Lawyer Stefano Filletti is defence counsel to Spiteri. Lawyer Clement Mifsud Bonnici is appearing parte civile for one of the fraud victims, Peter Clarke.

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