Court to rule on request for gold seized in Sliema double murder

The family of the victims asked for the gold items seized as evidence to be released to them 

A court will decide the fate of several gold items seized as evidence in a double murder in Sliema last year.

The third suspect in the murder of Christian Pandolfino and Ivor Maciejowski, 30 year-old Jesper Kristiansen was back in the dock as the compilation of evidence in the murder case against him continued this morning.

The two victims were shot dead at their home in Locker Street, Sliema on 18 August last year, in what is thought to be a botched burglary.

Daniel Muka from Albania and Viktor Dragomanski from North Macedonia are separately also charged with the murders.

Kristiansen had been extradited to Malta from Spain last November to face criminal proceedings.

In today's sitting the court appointed an expert to examine several gold items stolen from the deceased. The prosecution, however, requested not only an examination of the items allegedly stolen but of all gold items also found in the house.

Prosecuting, lawyer George Camilleri made reference to a request by the family of the victim, asking that the gold items be released to them, explaining that the prosecution was objecting to the request. Magistrate Joe Mifsud suggested that the prosecution be practical and sensitive towards the family members of the victim, but Camilleri insisted and declared that the prosecution was formally requesting the accused to declare if he was in favour or against such a request.

Defence lawyer Stefano Filletti strongly objected to the request, arguing that salient legal doctrine and fundamental principles afford the accused the right to remain silent at all stages of the proceedings. The prosecution could not therefore request the accused to declare anything, especially given that the case was still in the compilation of evidence stage.

Camilleri replied that if material evidence, including the gold, were to be released this might create legal issues. Filletti retorted that at the current stage of the proceedings it was the prosecution who have the lead on evidence and therefore up to the prosecution to resolve any issues they may be having in presenting their case, “not ask the accused to solve legal issues they may have".

The court will decree on the matter at a later stage.

The case continues on Friday.

Superintendent James Grech and Inspector Colin Sheldon prosecuted.