Polonium plot: Jomic Calleja released on bail

Jomic Calleja had been charged with attempting to import C-4 and radioactive polonium in March

Jomic Calleja has a lengthy history of criminal offences
Jomic Calleja has a lengthy history of criminal offences

A man who allegedly tried to import military grade C-4 explosives, which he had bought on the dark web, into Malta has been granted bail after 4 months in custody.

Jomic Calleja Maatouk, 34, from Zebbug was yesterday released on bail against a deposit of €5000 and a personal guarantee of €45,000, being also ordered to sign a bail book daily and observe a curfew.

Calleja Maatouk had been charged with attempting to import C-4 and radioactive polonium in March this year.

In previous sittings, Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech had heard how the police had been informed by friendly intelligence agencies in June 2019 that someone from Malta was attempting to purchase Polonium 210, Ricin and Fentanyl on the dark web.

Intercepted communications from between 1-8 June that year showed that Calleja’s intended target was a man, who was between 165cm and 175cm tall and weighed around 55-60kg.

These details were revealed as the buyer, who went by pseudonyms which included ‘unknown 893’ user ‘2F108X’‘2 and Foxtrot108XRAY’ was asked by the seller what dose of polonium 210 he required.

Polonium 210 is a radioactive substance which is harmless outside the body but lethal if ingested, causing excruciating death by radiation sickness. The same substance was used to kill Russian defector and former FSB agent Alexander Litvinienko in 2006.

Calleja had allegedly shipped the items through a UK remailer and the police had intercepted the package in Malta, leading Calleja to accuse the seller of working with law enforcement, in secure emails intercepted by the Maltese police.

Superintendent George Cremona and Inspector Omar Zammit are prosecuting.

Lawyer Benjamin Valenzia is appearing for the accused.

READ ALSO | The Polonium plot: how Jomic Calleja trawled dark web for explosives and radioactive poison

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