Mario Camilleri ‘l-Imniehru’ shot through passenger window, accused confesses

Accused George Galea told police investigators Mario Camilleri snr was shot in the head by his brother-in-law in Marsaxlokk.

Murder victims Mario Camilleri Sr and Mario Camilleri Jr.
Murder victims Mario Camilleri Sr and Mario Camilleri Jr.

Mario Camilleri, known as 'l-Imnieħru', was shot in the head through the passenger window and fell unconscious, police investigators were told by defendant George Galea, who stands charged with the murder.

With the inside of the van in which he was shot covered in blood, Camilleri was later buried in a field in Qajjenza, Birzebbugia, where his son Mario was later stabbed and shot to death.

George Galea, 41 of St Julian's, together with Mario Camilleri's brother-in-law Jason Galea, 39 of Birzebbugia, are facing charges of killing convicted drug trafficker Mario Camilleri, 51, and his son Mario, aged 21.

According to investigators, George Galea admitted that Camilleri snr had been murdered in Marsaxlokk, while his son was killed a few metres away from where he was buried - stabbed 34 times before being shot.

Both corpses were found 24 hours after their disappearance, buried under  a pile of cow manure to aid their decomposition.

Mark Scicluna's court sketch: l-r Magistrate Antonio Micallef Trigona, defence lawyers Gianella de Marco and Joe Giglio

At the start of the compilation of evidence against the two accused, Magistrate Antonio Micallef Trigona said the court would be treating the murders of the father and son as separate cases.

Taking the witness stand, Inspector Chris Pullicino presented digital video recordings of the interrogation process. The police, he said, were now equipped with a new system that records an interrogation on three DVDs simultaneously: one is kept by the police, a second is given to the accused and a third presented to the court.

Mark Scicluna's court sketch: defendant Jason Galea and defence lawyer Joe Giglio. Bottom: Defendant George Galea

George Galea confirmed that he had been present during the murder of Camiller snr and that he "actively participated in the elimination" of Camilleri jnr, Pullicino said.

George Galea also admitted to havign shot the younger victim, claiming however that he deliberately missed.

According to Galea, Camilleri snr was carrying two firearms and used one of them while being taken to Marsaxlokk. One of the firearms was found in Qajjenza.

Claiming there were "other people" on site, Galea told investigating officers he was not aware of any plans to kill Camilleri snr, whom it is believed was owed thousands in cash by Jason Galea.

Meanwhile, both prosecution and defence requested protection orders in view of alleged threats exchanged between the families of the accused and those of the victims.

After a heated debate, the court ruled that since the accused were remanded in custody, protection orders were not necessary.

Lawyers Giannella de Marco and Gianluca Caruana Curran appeared for George Galea while Joe Giglio appeared for Jason Galea. Lawyer Joe Brincat appeared for the victim's family.

Jason Galea has also been charged with the murder of Matthew Zahra, a loan shark to whom he also owed money, back in August 2012. A decomposed leg suspected to belong to Zahra was found on the same crime scene where the Camilleris were buried.