Two court messengers accused of attempting to steal case file

CCTV footage caught the two court messengers stealing a case file instead of giving it to the magistrate 

Two court messengers have been charged with attempting to steal a case file from criminal proceedings.

56-year-old Edwin Vassallo and 61-year-old Joseph Bezzina were charged with attempting to destroy or steal documents belonging to the courts, tampering with evidence and aggravated theft, amongst other charges.

The two men appeared before magistrate Joe Mifsud this morning, assisted by lawyers Franco Debono, Amadeus Cachia and Alfred Abela.

Prosecuting Inspector Frank Anthony Tabone testified that on 27 April the police were called to the court due to an attempt of theft of the file Police vs Angel Attard.

Upon arriving at court, police were informed that there was a file that could not be found and the duty magistrate was informed and started an inquiry.

Investigations revealed that Edwin Vassallo had collected some files which were to be given to Magistrate Neville Camilleri, but Vassallo had passed the Angel Attard file on to Bezzina. Bezzina had placed it in a locked drawer in a room in court. CCTV footage relating to the incident was exhibited to the court. 

Bezzina had explained that he had found Edwin Vassallo outside hall 11 and who had told him to hold on to the court file. He hadn’t asked him why he was to hold on to the file because it wasn’t the first time, Inspector Tabone said. 

A number of witnesses testified, including mobile telephony expert Martin Bajada, who said that the men had not directly contacted Attard, but had done so through a third party.

The Court decree there was a prima facie ground for a bill of indictment to be issued. The case continues in September.