Brothers accused with carrying out a series of hold-ups held under arrest

The two men were charged with two hold-ups, two robberies and a theft from an elderly person

Two brothers who stand accused of conducting a series of hold-ups and robberies in various localities were arraigned and held under arrest on Wednesday.

The two men, 40-year-old Roderick Scicluna and 40-year-old Paul Scicluna were brought before presiding magistrate Rachel Montebello and pleaded not guilty. 

They were charged with two hold-ups in Zejtun, two robberies in Tarxien and Paola, and theft from an elderly person in Zejtun that took place between 28 December 2019 and 18 January 2020. 

The thefts were conducted with direct violence on the victims and by driving an uninsured vehicle. Paul Scicluna alone was further charged with recidivism and being in possession of an unlicensed knife.

“Police were conducting an investigation concerning two armed robberies in a lotto outlet in Zejtun on 8 January. Through footage gathered, police were able to see that one of the accused entered a Volkswagen Golf,” prosecuting officer Fabian Fleri told the court.

He added that the accused was later identified through the registration number of the vehicle.

The prosecution said that the brothers had stolen an amount not exceeding €2,329.37 from the lotto outlet and attacked a 64-year-old woman in the process to obtain the money. 

“The same vehicle was also used in robberies where the accused stole a handbag from an elderly lady on the same day,” Fleri said.

He added that the two later tried to use a bank card they found in the handbag on an ATM and that the ATM footage acquired helped police identify Paul Scicluna.

The police proceeded to arrest the brother and to impound their vehicle. Fleri told the court that they were interrogated and that Roderick Scicluna had cooperated fully but Paul Scicluna had only cooperated “up to a point.” He added that he had admitted to some of the thefts but not all.

Roderick Scicluna told the court that he was unemployed and living with his brother Paul because he was “legless.” He was making use of a crutch inside the courtroom but appeared to be in possession of both lower limbs.

Paul said that he lived with his brother in Bormla and that he had recently been working as a driver of trailer trucks. 

The defence did not contest the validity of the arrest and did not ask for bail but told the court that the brothers had a substance abuse problem. 

They were remanded in custody but asked the police, out of turn, to be arrested together and kept in the same cell. 

Inspectors Fabian Fleri and Paul Camilleri prosecuted.

Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici was defence counsel.

Rachel Montebello was presiding magistrate.

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