Murder suspect Deniro Magri not guilty of suborning witness

Deniro Magri has pleaded not guilty to murdering 25-year-old Sylvester Farrugia in Marsa in February 2017 with a firearm, after Farrugia was involved in attempt to set fire to Magri’s home

A court acquitted Deniro Magri, who stands accused of murder, of charges brought against him following an altercation with a witness.

Deniro Magri has pleaded not guilty to murdering 25-year-old Sylvester Farrugia in Marsa in February 2017 with a firearm, after Farrugia was involved in attempt to set fire to Magri’s home.

On 8 January this year, Magri was involved in an altercation with 37-year-old Birzebbugia resident, Aaron Cassar, one of the alleged accomplices to the attempted arson, after encountering one another in Republic Street, Valletta. The struggle took place at 11am, and resulted in Magri’s hospitalisation.

The court heard Magri’s testament, which it then corroborated against the CCTV footage presented by the prosecution. Cassar did not ordain to speak for fear of incriminating himself.

Magri recounted that he had arrived at the location at 11am. Shortly afterwards, Cassar arrived, approached Magri and began to taunt him over the murder charge he currently stands accused of. Magri said he responded by saying: “You set my door on fire and you have caused me all this trouble. You haven’t heard the last of this.”

The court did not find Magri guilty of committing slight bodily harm towards Cassar. Despite the fact that the prosecution presented a medical certificate, the court felt that it could not condemn Magri because Cassar would not give evidence.

In relation to the charge of wilfully disturbing public order, the court said that the prosecution had failed to bring forward enough evidence to show that public peace had been disrupted by the accused.

The prosecution also accused Magri of breaching his release conditions, which precluded him from approaching or attempting to suborn any witnesses to the case. This would have been satisfied, the Court felt, since Cassar is indeed a witness. However, the evidence clearly demonstrated that it was Cassar who purposefully approached him in the busy thoroughfare.

The Court said it was unable to convict Magri for breaking his bail conditions on the grounds that the CCTV footage showed the accused raising his finger when responding to Cassar.

Deniro Magri was cleared from all charges brought against him.

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