Sant Cassia murder: Judge rules accused unfit to stand trial

The man who shot Baron Sant Cassia dead in 1988 was previously certified by psychiatrists to have the mental faculties of a child

Baron Francis Sant Cassia (inset) was murdered outside his residence, Castello Zammittello in Mġarr, in 1988
Baron Francis Sant Cassia (inset) was murdered outside his residence, Castello Zammittello in Mġarr, in 1988

A judge has declared that a man accused of the 1988 murder of Baron Sant Cassia is unfit to stand trial, adjourning the case indefinitely.

Earlier this morning, the prosecution announced that it would not be contesting medical opinions on his capacity to form criminal intent.

In a decree handed down at around 11 am today, Madam Justice Consuelo Scerri Herrera ruled that Carmelo Camilleri was not in a position to answer to his bill of indictment, "owing to his precarious state of health." The trial was adjourned sine die, and can only be reappointed should Camilleri's health improve to the point where he could answer the charges against him.

Camilleri, today 68 years old, is accused of shooting Baron Francis Sant Cassia dead at point-blank range on the grounds of his house, Castello Zammitello, in Mġarr in 1988.

He was charged with the wilful homicide of the baron in 2006, accused of carrying out the murder on the instructions of a third party and later indicted.

His lawyers are insisting that Camilleri could not have formed the required criminal intent to be found guilty, arguing that although he was 33 at the time of the murder, a psychiatrist appointed by the court to assess him after his arrest found him to have an IQ of around 50, and a mental age of a 9-12 year-old.

When the case against the now wheelchair-bound Camilleri continued before Madam Justice Consuelo Scerri Herrera this morning, the prosecution was handed a copy of a court application filed by the defence on 30 June.

The application argues that, in view of findings made by several psychiatrists, Camilleri was unable to communicate with his lawyers and therefore was not in a position to answer to the charges.

Last month, prosecutor Kevin Valletta from the Attorney General’s Office informed the court that the prosecution would not be contesting the opinions expressed by the psychiatrists. Valletta told the court today that he had no further submissions to make.

The judge adjourned the sitting for a decision, which is expected to be handed down shortly.

Lawyers Jason Azzopardi and Kris Busietta are defence counsel.

Lawyers Stefano Filletti and Eve Borg Costanzi are assisting the Sant Cassia family.