Attard man charged with armed robbery

Robber who around €1,300 in cash during a San Gwann holdup charged  

A suspected robber who allegedly made off with a considerable amount of cash in a hold up in San Gwann on Wednesday has been charged. 

Mark Anthony Bonnici, 41, from Attard, was tracked down by the police after the armed robbery which took place at around 8:15pm at a shop in Triq in-Naxxar. 

Bonnici allegedly stole around €1,300 in cash. He was arrested later in Sliema, using the same car he had used as a getaway vehicle in the robbery. Police sources say that some of the stolen cash was found at his house. 

The suspect was arraigned on charges of aggravated theft, holding shop employees against their will and carrying a weapon during the commission of a crime. He was also accused of recidivism. 

Bonnici pleaded not guilty and asked for bail. The prosecution objected, arguing that a civilian witness was yet to testify and that the accused was familiar with the witness in question, as he is a regular client of the targeted shop. 

Lawyers Franco Debono and Marion Camilleri argued for bail, submitting that had the witness been a tourist visiting Malta, he would have been summoned to testify during the arraignment. This could potentially lead to injustice in the granting of bail, said the lawyers. 

The accused had a “relatively clean” criminal record, said the defence, having convictions only for VAT and traffic offences. He had been going through serious problems after breaking up with his girlfriend and therefore needed all the help he could get, his lawyers said. 

The defence also requested the appointment of a probation officer to keep an eye on the accused as a bail condition. 

The court, presided by Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech declared that it would decree on the bail request at a later stage. 

Inspectors Lydon Zammit and Stephen Gulia prosecuted.