No bail for barn owl thief

The man was captured on CCTV footage breaking into an enclosure in Buskett where barn owls are being bred by the FKNK, a hunting organisation, for release back into the wild

The FKNK project aims to breed barn owls and reintroduce them into the wild at Buskett
The FKNK project aims to breed barn owls and reintroduce them into the wild at Buskett

A 32-year-old man has been charged with stealing two barn owls from a Buskett breeding project.

Tree groomer Ronald Azzopardi, from Żabbar was arraigned before Magistrate Caroline Farrugia Frendo this afternoon, accused of stealing two barn owls from the FKNK and surgically changing their appearance. He was also accused of cruelty to animals, criminal damage and violation of private property.

Lawyer Fransina Abela, appearing as legal aid for the man, entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

Bail was requested but was opposed by the prosecution, which stated that several civilian witnesses were yet to testify. They will be brought in first sitting, said prosecuting inspectors Roderick Attard and Andy Rotin.

READ ALSO: Intruder caught on CCTV stealing Barn Owls from Buskett project

Bail was denied as the case was at an early stage and there were witnesses who were yet to testify.

The man was caught on CCTV footage breaking into the enclosure where the hunting organisation FKNK is running a breeding programme for reintroduction of the barn owl into the wild.

The man stole two of the five barn owls inside the enclosure.

READ ALSO: ‘Owl’-righty then! Buskett gets ready for the return of the barbaġann

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