Theft charge against Libyan involved in sectarian violence incident in Swieqi

Different outcomes for partners in crime: man admits to using stolen truck gets suspended sentence, co-accused pleads not guilty but is denied bail

A 21-year-old man from Tripoli has been handed a 15-month prison sentence, suspended for three years after admitting to being in possession of a stolen truck, while his friend who was driving it was remanded in custody after pleading not guilty to the charge.

Mohamed Gubgub appeared before Magistrate Josette Demicoli this morning, charged with handling stolen goods together with another Libyan, 26-year old Wadea al Magharbi.

Inspector Nicholas Vella told the presiding magistrate how the men had been arrested by a police patrol in Floriana after they were found inside a truck that had been reported as stolen from St. Paul's Bay.

Gubgub and al Magharbi were charged with handling stolen goods and failing to inform the police once they became aware that the truck had been stolen.

Al Magharbi, also from Libya and who was already out on bail for allegedly attacking a fellow countryman in Swieqi last January over sectarian differences, was separately accused of driving the vehicle without a licence and insurance cover and breaching bail conditions.

Gubgub, who resides at the Marsa open centre, filed a guilty plea through lawyer Christopher Chircop and was sentenced to 15 months' imprisonment, suspended for three years.

Lawyer Leontine Calleja, appearing for Al Magharbi, who resides in Floriana, told the court that her client would be denying the charges. No request for bail was made and the Libyan was remanded in custody.