Man accused of killing protected storks denied bail

A magistrate has denied bail to James Magri, 41, who stands accused of shooting three white storks shortly after they flew to Malta

Alleged poacher, James Magri being accompanied to court by the police
Alleged poacher, James Magri being accompanied to court by the police

A 41-year-old man from Dingli was charged in court with the killing of three white storks, a protected bird species.

James Magri pleaded not guilty when he appeared before Magistrate Audrey Demicoli on Monday afternoon.

The magistrate denied bail after the prosecution insisted that a number of witnesses had yet to be presented in court.

Magri was accused of killing three storks that formed part of a flock of 18 that flew into Malta last Friday.

This is the peak season for stork migration in the Mediterranean and the flock had just made it to Malta when Magri allegedly shot down three birds. It is understood that Magri managed to collect two of the dead birds, leaving the third one behind when he realised he was being watched.

Magri's lawyer Edward Gatt accused the police of having rushed to arraign his client without the necessary evidence, and suggested the "media frenzy" surrounding the case was to blame.

Gatt objected to his client being denied bail for a crime that was unlikely to carry a prison sentence.

However, the magistrate would have nothing of it and denied Magri bail. 


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