Jurors deliberate on verdict in Zammit robbery

Trial by jury of Kenneth Ellul enters fifth day with judge addressing jury and defence presenting final submissions

Former Labour MP Anthony Zammit
Former Labour MP Anthony Zammit

The trial by jury of Kenneth Ellul, accused of robbery and assault on former Labour MP Anthony Zammit in his house in 2008, culminated today with the address to the jury by Mr Justice Lawrence Quintano, his last speech before retiring from the bench in the coming month.

Ellul is also charged with holding Zammit against his will, aggravated theft and theft of a car, carrying an unlicensed weapon, assaulting the MP and causing him grievous injuries.

“My duty is to explain and help you carry out your duties and responsibilities, but I will not share my opinion or conclusions on what happened in his hall,” Judge Quintano said.

“You all saw the witnesses and how they behaved. We keep the jurors here so they are not influenced by rumours, media reports and comments. You have to deliver a verdict based on the evidence at hand.”

The judge emphasized the fact that while the nine jurors and the three reserve jurors had been appointed to a jury without ever requesting that appointment, this did not allow them to abdicate from their duties.

The jurors were told that every accused is presumed innocent, and it is through the evaluation of evidence that they can be found guilty. “You cannot assume the man is guilty, simply because he is arraigned. Every shadow of doubt has to go in favour of the accused,” the judge stated.

The defence made its last attempt at highlighting the contradictions in the prosecution’s case against Ellul today, pointing out the unreliability of certain witnesses. “My aim is to see justice being served. Plain and simple. The fact that a witness is acceptable at law does not make him credible. In the prosecution’s own words, the burden of proof lies with the accuser – and the prosecution has failed to prove Ellul’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt,” defence lawyer Josette Sultana said.

Dr Sultana concluded her 45-minute final submission saying that the accused Kenneth Ellul had admitted to his past life’s mistakes but had always denied any involvement with this case. “You have heard the evidence, you have seen the witnesses and their body language. You have no other conclusion to reach but to acquit Kenneth Ellul of all charges.”