Updated | Doctor refutes claims of wrongdoing made by sisters of man who left him his inheritance

In counter protest, doctor Jan Chircop denies wrongdoing and says he regarded the elderly man who left him his inheritance as his ‘second father’ • Notary Joe Cilia denies releasing will in breach of the law

Doctor Jan Chircop
Doctor Jan Chircop

Updated at 3:28pm with notary Joseph Cilia counter protest

Doctor Jan Chircop has refuted claims made by relatives of a COVID-19 victim that he took advantage of their brother to acquire his inheritance.

In a counter-protest filed on Monday morning, Chircop denied any wrongdoing and rejected the claims made by sisters Alberta and Jane Mangion.

The sisters had filed a judicial protest against Chircop and notary Joseph Cilia, a former Labour MP, accusing them of irregularities in their brother’s will.

Mario Mangion, 69, died on 5 February, days after he contracted COVID-19. The sisters said that an hour after Mangion’s burial, Chircop informed them that he was their brother’s sole heir, handing them a copy of the victim’s last will and testament that was compiled before notary Cilia.

In his counter protest, Chircop said that Mario Mangion was a very close family friend and regarded him as his second father. Chircop is the son of the late Labour MP Karl Chircop.

Chircop said the sisters’ judicial protest went expressly against their brother’s wish.

“It is untrue that the doctor took possession of things he was not authorised to take; it is untrue that he acted incorrectly; it is untrue that he acquired a copy of the will illicitly, and the copy he had in hand was given to him by Mario Mangion and the words ‘a true copy for Jan’ had been written on it by Mangion himself,” the counter protest read.

Chircop said the will was drawn up in October 2020, four months before the man contracted COVID-19. He expressed disappointment that Mangion’s memory was being embroiled in a judicial exercise.

“Anyone who wanted to assist Mario Mangion throughout his life, like the doctor did, could have done so freely,” Chircop said, adding it was Mangion’s choice to choose how to dispose of his property.

The doctor called on Mangion’s sisters to desist from making further “frivolous and vexatious” insinuations and asked them to withdraw their “baseless” allegations.

He also threatened them with legal action if they persisted with their claims.

The counter protest was signed by lawyers Matthew Paris, Luke Dalli and Ann Marie Cutajar.

Notary Joe Cilia rebuts

Meanwhile, in another counter protest, notary Joe Cilia denied the sisters' claims that he had released their brother's will in breach of the law.

He explained that the will was done at his office in Paola on 7 October 2020 in front of two eyewitnesses, according to law. Cilia said that Mario Mangion, as was his right at law, asked for a copy of the will, which was given to him there and then.

Cilia said he did not write the words 'True copy for Jan' on the will and was unaware of what Mangion did with the copy. Cilia said he had nothing to do with the other claims made by the sisters and described their action as "vexatious" and "defamatory".

Cilia also threatened legal action if the sisters persisted with their claims.

The counter protest was signed by lawyer Mark Simiana.