Sliema double murder: Muka pleads not guilty, no request for bail made

Albanian national is first to be charged with brutal murder of Sliema couple: no bail requested, defence requests psychiatric assessment

Daniel Muka, fourth from left, is escorted out of the law court buildings. Photo: James Bianchi
Daniel Muka, fourth from left, is escorted out of the law court buildings. Photo: James Bianchi

Daniel Muka, 25, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Christian Pandolfino and Ivor Maciejowski in their Sliema home on Tuesday 18 August, after being arraigned on Thursday afternoon.

Muka, an Albanian, said he worked as a car washer.

Muka was arraigned by inspectors James Grech and Colin Sheldon in the court of Magistrate Nadine Lia. The court ordered a freeze on his assets.

He was formally charged with the wilful homicide of Pandolfino and Maciejowski, and stealing some €2,329 in jewellery and other items, apart from related chagres. He was also charged with the keeping of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, used a stolen vehicle, and the theft of two vehicle licence plates.

Muka was identified from CCTV footage obtained by the police, and was later apprehended after he failed to sign a bail book on 24 August. Muka is already charged with an armed hold-up and the attempted murder of police officers during a daring robbery on a jewellery store in Sliema.

Muka was represented in court by lawyers Noel Biancho and George Anthony Buttigieg, who requested that their client be assessed by a psychiatrist and be given any such psychological assistance as required. Dr Anthony Zahra was appointed by the court to assess the psychiatric state of the acccused.

There was no request for bail. Dr Roberta Bonello, appearing as parte civile for the victims of the family, passed on a note from the family to the magistrate.

On Wednesday evening, a second person was arrested suspected to be involved in the Sliema double murder. Police from the major crimes section arrested the suspect at a hotel in Gzira at 11pm.

A third person, a Maltese man, was held for questioning by the police on suspicions he was helping Muka hide following the arrest of the Albanian. There were two other people inside the Floriana apartment, who had no link to the murder.

On Tuesday, police arrested two men in a police raid on a Floriana residence. The arrest came a week after the murder of Chris Pandolfino, 58, and Ivor Maciejowski, 30. The couple were murdered at their Sliema home in Locker Street on Tuesday 18 August.

Muka is the suspect in the hold-up on a Tigné Point jewellery shop three years ago. He was out on bail.