Two company directors acquitted of fraudulently removing third director

The accused testified that they had purchased the third director's shares and had come to an amicable settlement

The two brothers were declared innocent of all charges
The two brothers were declared innocent of all charges

Two company directors accused of fraud have walked free after a court said it found insufficient evidence to support the charges.

The two directors, brothers Karmelo and Francis Barbara aged 75 and 60 respectively had been prosecuted for alleged fraud, signing a false declaration and exercising a pretended right.

Magistrate Ian Farrugia had heard prosecuting officer Ian Abdilla testify in 2012 about how the police had received a criminal complaint, signed by lawyers Adrian Delia and John Gauci, claiming that a Form K filed at the MFSA registry had falsely indicated a change in the company’s directors, by “removing” Carmel Mifsud, who in reality was still a director.

The court was told how the form had been filed on the eve of an extraordinary general meeting during which a vote was to be taken to remove the third director from office. The vote had gone through by two votes to one. Mifsud’s lawyer, who was also present at the meeting had then immediately proposed Mifsud once again as a director nominated by a group of shareholders.

Mifsud had only found out about the change in circumstances when he received bank correspondence indicating that he had been struck off as signatory and found the locks to the company premises to have been changed. He informed the police and an investigation was launched.

But during the criminal proceedings against the two directors, their lawyer, Siegfried Borg Cole, under oath, told the court that the men had simply been following his advice.

In addition, the court heard the accused testify that they had purchased the third director’s shares and had come to an amicable settlement.

The court said that this was a “classic case” where the police are requested to investigate facts and do so, during the course of the investigation some form of irregularities emerge and so they press charges, but during the hearing of the case the evidence which emerges is not strong enough to sustain the accusations.

The brothers were declared innocent of all charges.

Lawyers Franco Debono and Siegfried Borg Cole were defence counsel.

More in Court & Police