No bail for man accused of stealing two cars

The man was denied bail over fears he could communicate with ‘indispensable witnesses’

(File Photo)
(File Photo)

A man has been charged with stealing two cars and attempting to steal a third.

27-year-old Andreas Buhagiar was arraigned before magistrate Yana Micallef Stafrace this afternoon, accused of stealing two cars in Qormi, damaging one, as well as attempting to steal a third vehicle from a garage.

Buhagiar, who is said to have a drug problem, was also accused of handling stolen goods and breaching two suspended sentences and a probation order.

One vehicle was stolen and a second was damaged on the night between the 12 and 13 August, the court was told. The second car was stolen on 15 August.

Buhagiar, represented by lawyer Yanika Bugeja, pleaded not guilty to the charges. He asked for bail.

Prosecuting inspector Roderick Agius objected to the request for bail, saying that there was a strong likelihood that the accused would approach “indispensable witnesses.”

“They are all from the same village where the accused lives,” explained the inspector. “He knows who they are and it would be a great burden on administration of justice if he is given bail.”

The accused had also been given a number of opportunities by the court and had only recently been given a suspended sentence. There was a great chance that he would commit another crims unless he was given help, Agius said.

Bugeja told the court that the man had successfully gone through rehab, but that “unfortunately, drugs are stronger than the person”.

He is in the process of seeking help from a number of NGOs, she said.

The court, however, said it would be denying bail at this stage, specifically due to the fear that the accused would approach witnesses or tamper with evidence.

The magistrate urged the prison administration to do all that is necessary to have the accused follow drug rehabilitation courses.