The Trial of David Gatt – A translation of the letter that Mario Portelli had sent to Inspector Mercieca

“Mr Mercieca, I refer to the telephone call that we had on Thursday 11th February where you informed me, in relation to my question, that the case of lawyer David Gatt has reached the final phase of the compilation and that I will not be asked to return to testify again in the case.

I am sorry for the fact that I will not be able to have the opportunity to reply to several statements that were uttered against me during the course of the case by David Gatt’s defense lawyer and by a certain Raymond Abela who had testified that I had lied in reference to my testimony that he has never kissed David Gatt’s hand and talked to him in Italian.

Therefore, I feel that I should tell you what I wanted to say in court, so I am writing to you six (6) points that I feel are important for the court’s information:

Point (1)

I refer to Raymond Abela who testified in Court that he never kissed David Gatt’s hand and said to him the words ‘saluttamo zu Toto’ but from an investigation carried out by inspector Christ Pullicino it was found that in the same Raymond Abela’s mobile phone, David Gatt was put in as Toto.

Point (2)

I refer to the testimony and statement made by a certain Dr. John Zammit Montebello, regarding when David Gatt went to look for him in a liquor pub (Smugglers Pub), took him to the kitchen and threatened him not to mention his name in the case that was ongoing that day against il-Koħħu and the Topo. The doctor released a statement and even testified in court regarding this event. How could I, who was not present, know about this if it was not David Gatt who had told me?

Point (3)

I refer to when I was asked whether I recognise the weapon of the Ruger brand that you showed me a photo of in court and that was used in the HSBC hold-up, a weapon exactly like it was in the hands of David Gatt at a time before the same hold-up and he had even jokingly put it to my temple and said the words ‘you will soon hear enter the dragon.’

Point (4)

I refer to the allegations that David Gatt had made against me in November 2012, that is, two years after I had, in your presence and that of other officers in the CID building, confronted him in his face in front of you about the accusations that he was accused of, which confrontation’s recording is for your perusal, on that day he did not rebut anything on what I had said in his face except for the words ‘Now Inspector Rizzo will see to you.’ Regarding the allegations that he had the pleasure to make against me two years later, you can easily find the statement that I had released to inspector Fabian Fleri. Contrary to him, when I was confronted with allegations from David Gatt, I answered every question of Inspector Fleri at the precise moment that I was asked to do that.

Point (5)

I refer to when David Gatt came to look for me at my house in Qrendi after the hold-up at the jewellery shop at H’Attard where he informed me that Fabio Psaila is injured and he confessed to me that even that hold-up had been organized by him. If you remember correctly, I was the one who had informed you that Fabio Psaila is injured, and that David Gatt is hiding him and is looking for clandestine medical treatment for him.

Point (6)

I refer to when David Gatt went to cash a cheque at Hal Balzan’s bank where he found you and Pierre Calleja at the same branch. You yourself remembered this event and you said that this fact had bothered you. David Gatt had confessed to me that he was the one who had given them the advice (to the criminals) that instead of burning the vehicle, they are to spread some hair in it and he also told me the words that for such advice he had given, ‘they gave me ten’. How could I know that he had gone to cash a cheque at the same bank where he found you there, if not because David Gatt himself had told me at that time?

I wrote all this to you, not to hinder you from your work but for the simple reason that for me, everything I have done, when in November 2010 I reported this case to the Police, and in the years that followed, I had to do at my own personal expense, I risked my health, my job and everything I had so that I could say that I did the right thing. I opened the eyes of the police about a group of people who were and maybe still are without any scruples and a sense of what is right, killing and spreading fear in the Maltese society.

Regarding this, I leave it to your sense of logic which I am convinced that is able enough to understand more than me, the current situation in today’s society.”

Thank you for your time,

Mario Portelli (ID-523878M)

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