Updated | Birkirkara murder trial postponed due to technical gaffe, to continue on Wednesday

The murder trial had to be put off after the list of potential jurors was not published in the government gazette

The murder trial was postponed following a technical gaffe by the courts
The murder trial was postponed following a technical gaffe by the courts

A murder trial has had to be postponed at the last minute this morning after an administrative oversight.

The trial by jury of Etienne Bartolo, known as il-Vojt, had to be put off to Wednesday after the list of potential jurors was not published in the government gazette. Around 150 members of the public were due to undergo the initial screening from whom the final crop of jurors were due to be selected today.

Madame Justice Consuelo Scerri Herrera issued a decree at around 9pm last night delaying the jury until further notice in view of the technical gaffe. As the list was then published in the Government Gazette this morning, the court, in a decree issued this afternoon, decreed that the jury would begin on Wednesday, September 4.

Last month, MaltaToday reported that a last-minute request had been filed by the family of Bartolo’s alleged victim, claiming that the trial would breach their fundamental rights.

The family questioned a Maltese jury’s ability to reach a proper verdict.

READ MORE: Murdered drug runner’s family says jury that will try accused not fit to reach verdict

The family, through their lawyer Franco Debono, also argued that their rights would be breached since they cannot participate in the prosecution.

Police sources who spoke to MaltaToday last month said they had been shocked by the request.

The application was however dismissed by Scerri Herrera last week.

The trial is expected to summon as witness Jordan Azzopardi, the alleged drug lord whose Wardija hide-out was raided in a major sting operation earlier this year. Azzopardi is also represented by Debono.

READ MORE: Birkirkara murder trial will go ahead despite family’s objections

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