Man charged with Dutch woman's murder denied bail

22-year-old Rijpma Jelle, a Dutch national, was today arraigned in Court and charged with the murder of 30-year-old Shannon Mak, also of the Netherlands • He pleaded not guilty and was denied bail

22-year-old Rijpma Jelle stands charged with the murder of Shannon Mak, 30
22-year-old Rijpma Jelle stands charged with the murder of Shannon Mak, 30

Rijpma Jelle, a 22-year-old Dutch national was today remanded in custody after pleading not guilty to the murder of 30-year-old Shannon Mak.

The woman, also from the Netherlands, was found dead in Santa Venera in the early hours on Friday morning. She was found with her throat slashed, lying on the ground between two cars in Triq il-Mastrudaxxi at around 6.15am by a resident when on the way to work.

Jelle's charge sheet shows him as living in the same street in Santa Venera.

In court today, he requested bail, with the defence counsel arguing that him being European, there was no fear of absconding. The defence also argued that the accused had many ties to Malta, including his job in the igaming sector.

But the prosecution opposed the request for bail, arguing there was too big a risk the accused could influence witnesses, given the serious nature of the charges.

Lawyer Stefano Filletti, appearing as parte civile, said that this charge held the maximum penalty which was life in prison and for this reason there were grounds for the accused to abscond if he was released on bail.

The court upheld the prosecution's arguments and denied bail.

The victim's parents were present in the court room during the arraignment, with the mother in tears, visibly shaken by what happened to her daughter.

Inspectors Kurt Zahra and Robert Vella are prosecuting.

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