Tancred Tabone, Frank Sammut bail conditions increased

Judge increases Tancred Tabone and Frank Sammut bail to €25,000 deposit and €75,000 personal guarantee. 'No evidence of risk of flight'

Frank Sammut and Tancred Tabone
Frank Sammut and Tancred Tabone

The Criminal Court has this afternnon rejected an appeal by the Attorney General to have former Enemalta chairman Tancred Tabone and former MOBC chief executive Frank Sammut remanded in custody, but instead opted to increase their bail conditions from a €3,000 deposit to €25,000 and increase the personal guarantee to €75,000 each in a decision handed in camera.

Mr. Justice David Scicluna ruled that there was no risk of flight from the accused and added that the fact that the accused have all their assets seized is already a very tough measure against them, despite the gravity of their charges.

Earlier in the day, the court heard Dr. Elaine Rizzo Mercieca from the Office of the Attorney General insist with the Criminal Court that Tabone and Mercieca were the "masterminds" of a "devious and well-thought out and intricate scheme of corruption", Attorney General prosecutor Elaine Rizzo Mercieca said today in the court of Mr Justice David Scicluna.

Defence lawyers Giannella de Marco and Joseph Giglio strongly contested the submissions, insisting on the defendants' right to be presumed innocent and their denial of the charges.

"Tabone and Sammut have ended up as ping-pong balls used by politicians in the midst of an electoral campaign," Giglio said. "The accused are in a court of law, not in a gladiators' arena."

"We have before us, two men accused of a string of serious charges, and who had no respect for public funds," Rizzo Mercieca, assisted by Aaron Bugeja, stressed.

"Corruption is very serious, but when it concerns the highest of positions within state-owned corporations, on behalf of the people, we strongly object to bail."

Rizzo Mercieca argued that although both men had their families and roots in Malta, there was nothing to stop them from absconding the island to a state that had no extradition treaty with Malta. "The crimes allegedly committed by Tabone and Sammut have caused public alarm, and the bail conditions set at €3,000 each and a €15,000 personal guarantee each are not opportune," the prosecutor stressed.

Rizzo Mercieca said the two men were wealthy and privileged, and should have bail conditions set to reflect the gravity of the charges, or act as a deterrent to both them and other people under similar charges.

She said that former Sliema PN councillor and businessman Silvio Zammit, charged with bribery, trading in influence and money laundering in the snusgate investigation that brought down John Dalli from EU commissioner, had been denied bail on arraignment and then made to pay a hefty deposit and a considerable personal guarantee when it was granted.

The defence rebutted the comparison. "How can the prosecution compare this case with Zammit's when he is being charged over an alleged €60 million bribe, and caused the resignation of a European Commissioner?"

It was here that the prosecutor interrupted the defence: "Zammit had in fact asked for the bribe, and yet he did not even receive a cent from it."


Money No Problem...as Tancred is not paying from his pocket but from the money he made on people's back. I am sure that if his bail conditions were increased to 3 times as much he would have no problem in paying it. And then families with children and elderly people struggle to pay their water & electricity bills!!! The court is a joke!!!
Judge, please remember that these people stole money,from all the people in Malta for the last ten years.
Hija ħaġa ta' l-iskantament kif l-avukati difensuri ta' dawn it-tnejn min-nies qed jgħidu li ma hemmx paragun ma dak il-kas ta' Silvio Zammit għax skont huma dan qed jiġi akkuzat taxħim ta 60 miljun ewro u rizenja ta' kummissarju ewropew . Mela fuq kwazi miljun ewro zejt kulljum , dawn jafu kemm tħallsu kummissjoni ? Ma jafux li hemm miljuni kbar ta' ewro involuti f'dan il-kas ? Jekk Silvio Zammit skont dak li hu akkuzat bih kien somma ta' 60 miljun ewro , dan ma irċieva xejn minnhom . Għallhekk , dan il-kas hu aktar serju , sinjuri avukati difensuri .
I hope the judge will not make them 'The Untouchables'.