Qormi murder suspect has long list of priors

Elliot Paul Busuttil, the lead suspect in the murder of 62-year-old Mario Farrugia, is well known with the police

Elliot Paul Busuttil
Elliot Paul Busuttil

Elliot Paul Busuttil is the lead suspect in the murder of 62-year-old Mario Farrugia, found dead in the trunk of his car in Qormi.

Busuttil is well known with the police and in 2020, he was charged with the attempted murder of a 57-year-old Bulgarian man in Ta’ Qali.

Busuttil allegedly lured the victim to Ta’ Qali after placing an advert on Facebook marketplace to sell a pair of speakers. The victim was eventually found lying in a pool of blood outside the Ta’ Qali national stadium at 11:15pm with life-threatening injuries.

The discovery of the wounded victim led police onto a night-long search for the perpetrator. Busuttil was eventually found hiding in an Attard apartment block.

In February 2018, Busuttil was among the five men taken into custody following a raid on a drug den in Buġibba. He was charged with simple and aggravated possession of cocaine and simple possession of heroin and cannabis resin.

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At the time, he was also charged with recidivism and with committing an offence during the operative period of a suspended sentence. The sentence was handed down to him exactly two weeks after the day of his arraignment.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges and even requested bail. Ishmael Psaila, his defence lawyer, had argued that Busuttil had strong ties to Malta. Psaila added that Busuttil was the father to a disabled infant, whose mother was ill and slowly succumbing to paralysis.

Police inspector Godwin Scerri did not object to the bail request since there were no civilian witnesses who could be approached by the accused.

He was released from arrest against a bail deposit of €1,000 and a personal guarantee of €10,000. He was also ordered to sign a bail book three times weekly and observe a curfew.

In his private life, Busuttil used to train horses
In his private life, Busuttil used to train horses

Fast forward to March 2018, and Busuttil is back in court for carrying a knife in public whilst on bail for drug offences. This time, his lawyer entered a guilty plea on his behalf, but asked that Busuttil be held at Mount Carmel instead of Corradino Correctional Facility, to be admitted to a drug rehabilitation programme.

In view of his guilty plea, the court sentenced Busuttil to a €116 fine for the knife charge and nine months imprisonment for the other charges. The court further recommended that he be given any assistance required to overcome his drug addiction.

It could be worth noting that Mario Farrugia’s body was found in an area of the Qormi valley that is frequented by drug dealers and buyers. Sources who spoke to this newspaper said that heroin is the drug of preference among those visiting the area, with small groups of people seen huddled up under the valley walls.

In his private life, Busuttil used to train horses. Throughout 2016 he posted several photos of himself with race horses on his Facebook profile, as well as videos tending to the horses. One photomontage from 2016 writes him down as the trainer of Quefi Des Caillons, a French trotter.

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