Sliema theft suspects ‘probably absconded’

Sliema theft suspects ‘probably absconded’

Five foreign nationals charged with a string of thefts in the Sliema and St Julian’s area two years ago are likely to have absconded from Malta, the police have informed the court.

This emerges from a letter the Attorney General’s Office sent to the Times of Malta following a report titled ‘Sliema thieves gang “vanish” off police radar’, subtitled ‘Attorney General had insisted bail should be granted’, which appeared on August 11.

The Attorney General’s Office noted that it had “consistently and strongly” opposed all requests for bail made by the accused.

The Attorney General’s office consistently and strongly opposed all requests for bail made by the accused

The latest such request was made on May 15, and notwithstanding the fact that the accused had been in preventive custody for 20 months (the maximum allowed by law for an outright unconditional denial of bail), the Attorney General said his office still strongly opposed, listing a number of reasons.

The Criminal Court granted the five accused bail on May 17 subject to a number of conditions, including an obligation to sign the bail book at a police station every day.

The court also imposed a personal guarantee of €30,000 on each of them.

The Attorney General said that the police informed the court on July 31 that the accused were likely to have absconded from Malta and the last time they had signed the bail book was on July 20.