Convicted getaway driver says he was framed, admits to having known of BOV heist

Joseph Zammit was called to testify in the 2000 murder case, said he was aware of the plan to commit the heist.

A police vehicle transporting the accused from court
A police vehicle transporting the accused from court
Alphonse Ferriggi was simply delivering internal bank mail the day he was murdered
Alphonse Ferriggi was simply delivering internal bank mail the day he was murdered

Joseph Zammit, the getaway driver who is currently serving a 30-year jail term after admitting to participating in the San Gwann bank heist that left bank messenger Alphonse Ferriggi dead in 2000, admitted in court today that he knew of the “plan to commit the heist.”

Zammit was summoned to testify in court today to testify in the compilation of evidence against Chris Scerri, known as ‘Buttuni’ or ‘Gazzetti’, and James Vella, known as ‘il-Frejzer’ who stand accused of the murder of Alphonse Ferriggi in September 18, 2000.

Taking the witness stand, Zammit said that he was “framed”, and insisted that his only job was to drive the three men to a valley in San Gwann before the three men got into a black Volkswagen and left to carry out the heist.

Zahra, who appeared flustered and uncomfortable in his testimony, insisted that he has already told the police everything he knows. Warned by Magistrate Josette Demicoli, he was heard telling Inspector Arnaud not to summon him again as he has nothing else to say.

Offering scant details of the heist, Zammit told the court that on the day of the heist, the accused Vella and Scerri, and Richard Grech, known as ‘Iz-Zinanna’, turned up at his home demanding that he drive them to a drop-off point in San Gwann.

He then got into a red Mazda 121 and drove them to a valley in San Gwann before the three men got into a black Volkswagen and left. Pressed by the Magistrate as to why he did not want to go, Zammit said that he had heard of plans to carry out the heist.

Taking the witness stand, George Debono, the man who allegedly lent the accused use his rented Mazda as the drop-off car, he told the court that Vella had requested that he lends him a car so he could go out with his girlfriend.

While not confirming that he had in fact let Vella use his Mazda, Debono nevertheless said that he had left a car outside a band club in Qormi known as Tal-Werqa. The keys were left under the seat.

On his part, Justin Fenech, a friend of Richard Grech – the man who is currently serving a life sentence for his part in the failed San Gwann heist – told the court that Grech had confessed to carrying out the hold-up, but he did not believe him because he “always stretched the truth.”

He said that Grech had told him that il-Frejzer and il-Buttuni had carried the hold up with him, but insisted that the names had been mentioned during his police interrogation by CID.

The sitting also saw the court refuse a plea by the prosecution for the relatives of the accused to be barred from the courtroom, claiming that the relatives’ “constant interruptions are interrupting the witnesses.”

Arnaud insisted that witnesses should not feel uncomfortable or hindered from testifying. He also said that one of the accused had called him a cuckold during a previous sitting, and that there were also continuous comments directed by accused’s relatives.

Inspectors Chris Pullicino and Keith Arnaud are prosecuting while lawyers Franco Debono and Marion Camilleri are defence counsel.

The case continues.

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