Court turns down request to revoke Patrick Spiteri's bail

It argued that the disbarred lawyer needed to be held in an environment that would not make his medical condition worse

Patrick Spiteri
Patrick Spiteri

The criminal court has turned down a request by the Attorney General asking it to revoke a decree granting bail to disbarred lawyer Patrick Spiteri.

Spiteri has been under preventive arrest ever since his extradition from England back in May. He was brought to Malta to face criminal proceedings over the misappropriation and fraud of some €7.4 million.

Last month, the criminal court, presided over by Madam Justice Edwina Grima, had revoked a bail decree granted by magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit, following an application by the Attorney General.

In doing so, it had said that if the magistrates’ court felt that Spiteri merited bail, it should have granted him effective liberty rather than place him under house arrest. This, it said, amounted to a state of arrest nonetheless, the criminal court had declared.

That decision had magistrate Stafrace Zammit to alter the bail conditions, imposing a 12:00pm to 8:30am curfew, and requiring a deposit of €15,000 and personal guarantee of €25,000.

Once again, the attorney general filed an application to have that decree revoked but the criminal court, presided over by Justice Antonio Mizzi, declared that in view of Spiteri’s medical condition, his situation was to be “assessed attentively so that he might be held in an environment which would minimize the negative effects of his illness.”

This pronouncement by a superior court will still not bring about any immediate change to the accused’s situation since his arrest, under other separate proceedings, still stands.

Spiteri was diagnosed with Behcet’s syndrome, and has allegedly been experiencing a worsening of his condition throughout his stay at the Corradino Correctional Facility.

Lawyer Stefano Filletti is defence counsel.

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