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Court gives Patrick Spiteri, charged with fraud, three months to prepare defence

A magistrate has given ex-lawyer Patrick Spiteri three months to prepare his defence against multiple fraud charges amounting to over €7.4 million

matthew_agius
Matthew Agius
20 October 2017, 4:00pm
Lawyer Stefano Filletti once again told a court that his client was unable to prepare his defence
Lawyer Stefano Filletti once again told a court that his client was unable to prepare his defence
The court has given ex-lawyer Patrick Spiteri three months to prepare his defence against multiple fraud charges amounting to over €7.4 million.

Spiteri, who was extradited to Malta from England in May has been held in custody since then, despite a number of requests for his release from arrest being filed before several courts.

Although health grounds were the primary justification for his bail requests, other reasons given included the argument that he was unable to physically access the hundreds of boxes of documents he claims to need for his defence, part of which were being held in court and another part being held in a Guardamangia property that had been seized by HSBC.

This morning, defence lawyer Stefano Filletti once again told a court that his client was unable to prepare his defence because he could not access all his files.

Magistrate Audrey Demicoli accepted the suggestion made by the Director of Corradino Correctional Facilities, who said that the boxes could be taken to the prison wing, where Spiteri is being held as the only inmate, in tranches of ten boxes at a time, the new boxes replacing the previous ones.

Around 10 boxes have been taken to him so far, said the prison director as the accused shook his head vigorously.

“The box files that are there are the ones that I brought him myself,” said Filletti.

“Our question is that there are around 300 cardboard boxes with around 10 box files inside each. Would it be possible that, instead of all the boxes being brought to the cell, they be brought up piecemeal?”

The witness said it was possible, but the Court, conscious of the potential for more time-wasting, ordered the defence to commit itself to taking an amount of boxes in a given period.

In view of the statement made to the court by the director of CCF, it was ordered that the 380 boxes of documents be brought to Corradino, “but obviously not all at one go.” The court gave Spiteri three months to prepare his defence. “I’m putting the ball in your court. You have till end of January,” the magistrate said.

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