Dangerous truck driver on insurance blacklist, court told

A dangerous truck driver who is accused of 11 offences has been blacklisted by insurers, a court has been told

Truck driver Mario, known as Marius, Camilleri hit the headlines in December last year when he was arraigned on charges relating to almost a dozen offences, ranging from having a road licence issued to a 125cc motorcycle displayed on his 35 tonne truck, to dangerous driving, driving without a licence or insurance, to speeding.

57 year-old Camilleri, who had never served a day in prison despite having at least four convictions for reckless and dangerous driving, three for driving uninsured and a number of other convictions for illegal arrest, theft, violence against police officers, had been out of prison on two suspended sentences and a conditional discharge simultaneously when he was arrested.

The court had been shown a number of reports and footage of dangerous driving by the same truck, in previous sittings. Police said the man showed no remorse for his actions and allegedly promised that if he posted bail he would block the road with his truck, “and if you have the balls, come and move me.” He was not granted bail.

Today, a group of Maltese motor insurance companies presented an application saying that Camilleri was being blacklisted as he had consistently lied about being insured by them when this wasn’t the case.

Inspector Sergio Pisani explained that the insurance companies had sent him a letter in prison, through the courts, informing him that his policies had been rendered null from the start by his “false and fraudulent” declarations. His cheques were returned uncashed.

Last week the man’s own sister had testified against him, telling magistrate Grazio Mercieca that she had seen him assaulting a fellow motorist five years before.

Today, magistrate Grazio Mercieca observed that there was a request that he recuse himself because he had refused Camilleri bail as he had viewed him as a dangerous man. This was a premature judgment, said the defence and merited the magistrate stepping aside. It was pointed out to the defence that a person’s lack of trustworthiness and lack of a fixed address merited the withholding of bail. The court dismissed the request as groundless.

Lawyer Leslie Cuschieri requested bail again. The court released the man against a deposit of €10,000 and a personal guarantee of €10,000 and on condition that he doesn’t drive again. The court argued that there must  be a balance between the accused’s right to freedom from arrest and the public’s right to safety.

The case continues on 7 February.

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