Armed robbery suspect's bail deposit quintupled on prosecutor's appeal

A 46-year-old man, currently awaiting trial over a 2005 murder, has seen his bail deposit increase fivefold, after his release was objected to by the Attorney General

matthew_agius
Matthew Agius
20 September 2017, 4:30pm
Ismael Habesh, 46, who is awaiting trial over the 2005 murder case, had been released from arrest after his arraignment, in connection with a hold up in Qormi
Ismael Habesh, 46, who is awaiting trial over the 2005 murder case, had been released from arrest after his arraignment, in connection with a hold up in Qormi
A Libyan man, who was granted bail after being charged with armed robbery earlier this month, despite already being on bail on a homicide charge, has seen his bail deposit increase fivefold after his release was objected to by the Attorney General.

Tripoli-born Ismael Habesh, 46, who is awaiting trial over the murder of Simon Grech in Marsa, in 2005, had been released from arrest after his arraignment, in connection with a hold up in Qormi. He also has a number of other convictions for theft, slight injury and knife-crime dating back to the early 2000s, up till as recently as 2014.

Habesh, a tile layer, had been arrested on September 10, in connection with reports of a shooting in Qormi. Police found him hiding at a residence in the TarÄ¡a Gap area of Mosta. Although officers found no evidence of a shooting, police investigations revealed that a Mercedes carrying three persons had been robbed at gunpoint by “foreign persons” armed with rifles, who demanded €20,000 from the driver.

Habesh had been released from police custody after paying a deposit of €1,000 and providing a personal guarantee of €9,000. He was also required to sign the bail book daily and observe a curfew.

The Attorney General had subsequently filed an court application requesting the Criminal Court revoke the man's bail and order his re-arrest.

The Attorney General's request was turned down by Judge Antonio Mizzi. Despite this, the court noted that in the circumstances, the €1,000 bail deposit imposed by the court of Magistrates was unsuitable and ordered it to be increased to €5,000. No other changes to the man's bail conditions were made.

Lawyers Franco Debono and Amadeus Cachia appeared for Habesh.

Lawyer Arthur Azzopardi appeared parte civile for the owner of the stolen Mercedes.

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