Court revokes injunction on doctor Jan Chircop over inheritance case

A court has revoked the temporary injunction issued against medical doctor Jan Chircop after plaintiffs fail to prove that he took advantage of their deceased brother in inheritance case

Doctor Jan Chircop (left) and former Labour MP Joe Cilia
Doctor Jan Chircop (left) and former Labour MP Joe Cilia

A court has revoked the temporary injunction issued against medical doctor Jan Chircop as part of a legal dispute over the will of a COVID-19 victim.

The court said the plaintiffs had failed to prove any irregularities in the will of their deceased brother, who left his possessions to Chircop. The court also ruled that the plaintiffs failed to prove their allegation that the doctor had taken advantage of their brother.

Chircop, son of the late Labour MP Karl Chircop, and notary Joseph Cilia, a former Labour MP, had been accused by Alberta and Jane Mangion of committing irregularities in the will of their deceased brother Mario. 

The will was signed on 7 October last year by Mangion, 69, who died four months later, days after being infected with COVID-19.

Mangion’s sisters had claimed that the following day, just one hour after the man’s burial, Chircop had told them that he was their brother’s universal heir, showing them a copy of Mangion’s last will made before notary Joe Cilia. 

In a judicial protest filed in February, the Mangion sisters also claimed that Chircop had gone to their brother’s house in Gudja on the same day as his burial, from where he had taken possession of important documents, bank details, internet banking details, jewellery, a shotgun and cash – including cash belonging to them which Mangion had been keeping as a mandatary.

The sisters later also filed an application for an injunction to stop Chircop from executing the will and to stop him from taking any items belonging to their late brother. 

In her judgment on the case, Madam Justice Anna Felice ruled that the Mangions had failed to satisfy the criteria set out at law for the issuing of an injunction.

The sisters had only relied on the allegations made in the case where they are requesting that the will be declared null and void, observed the judge, pointing out that they had not presented any evidence in court to sustain their allegations or prove that they had a right against Chircop. 

The will had been drafted correctly by the notary, according to law, and there was no evidence to show that any deception was exercised on the testator or that he was in any way subjected to “any pressure, fear or moral abuse” as the applicants had suggested.

The doctor and notary had denied wrongdoing in their replies to the judicial protest filed by the sisters last March.

Chircop had explained that Mangion was not only a family friend but that he had considered him “a second father,” going on to say that the claims made by the two sisters showed a lack of respect towards their brother and his wishes.

Chircop had also denied obtaining an illicit copy of the will, pointing out that Mangion himself had given him the copy and written “true copy for Jan” in his own hand writing on it. 

Lawyers Luke Dalli, Matthew Paris, and Ann Marie Cutajar appeared for Chircop. Lawyer Mark Simiana appeared for Notary Cilia.