The Trial of David Gatt – the Testimony of Inspector Mercieca and PC Agius

At court, police inspector Joseph Mercieca “recalled an incident when the accused, now a lawyer, was still an inspector stationed in Rabat and a colleague told him how he had turned the station into a ‘club for criminals’.” The officer had then even added that ever since, he had made sure to stay away from him. Don’t you think there were clear and valid reasons?

Times of Malta reported that “this was the latest serious allegation against him following others made during the first sitting in the compilation of evidence against Dr Gatt,” “when his alleged obsession with the Mafia was revealed.”

Mr Mercieca said that, following Dr Gatt’s arrest on December 3, a search was carried out at his home and office. As they left one office they noticed another and asked to look inside, where they found a large poster of the film The Godfather hanging on the wall and an Israeli flag. When he asked if that was his office too, the accused did not reply, the witness said.” I have already pointed at the significance of the Israeli flag in another blog. And I will again come to it in another piece, with a difference.

Mr Mercieca was also asked by defence lawyer Edward Gatt whether he had checked with the bank what transactions had Dr Gatt carried out. This is because Inspector Mercieca had testified that “following the successful hold-up of the HSBC Balzan Branch, where over €1 million were stolen” he, together with Assistant Police Commissioner Pierre Calleja, had gone to the same bank to carry out some investigations. He had noticed Dr Gatt walking in, which had made him feel uneasy.

Inspector Mercieca said he had forgotten about this incident until PC Mario Portelli’s testimony, whereby he had stated that Dr Gatt had told him that he had gone to cash a “cheque of 10” at the same branch where the robbery was held, refreshened his memory. However, Inspector Mercieca had replied that he had neither checked with the bank what transactions had Dr Gatt carried out nor did he know if the cashed cheque was Gatt’s police force pension. Here, we have again another mistake in the reporting, dear readers. According to information that has reached this site, PC Mario Portelli had never testifed that he had cashed a “cheque of 10”. The true statement was that he had cashed a cheque! This cheque was that of his pension. The 10, on the other hand, referred to another matter whereby Gatt had allegedly told PC Mario Portelli that Gatt was given 10 for having given the Degiorgios the advice to leave hair inside the getaway car after the hold-up in the Balzan Branch. No one knows whether this 10 refers to €10 or €10,000 or any other amount.

WPC Ismele Fenech gave a detailed description of Dr Gatt’s gun licences and applications to buy new ones. He had a licence for two revolvers and a pistol and had made two applications, the first to shoot at a firing range and for target shooting and the second to purchase two pistols. All the applications were approved” earlier that year.

PC Jonathan Agius testified he had heard from sources that Dr Gatt had made threats in his regard for carrying out a search on the car of a friend of fugitive Fabio Psaila. However, the witness said he had received no direct threats.” Was the intention shared with others?

“The prosecution produced the witness to back up a claim made by PC Portelli that Dr Gatt wanted to carry out a revenge attack on the police constable for searching the car.”

Going into detail, PC Agius said that following a previous incident he had decided to keep tabs on a car driven by George Degiorgio, also known as Iċ-Ċiniz. One day, while on the beat in Marsa near an area known as Tal-Patata, he by chance spotted Mr Degiorgio. He noticed that Mr Degiorgio was not pleased to see him and, as he was about to ask him to search his car, Mr Degiorgio’s brother, Alfred, turned up driving a Mercedes and wanted to know what was going on.

“The officer told the men he wanted to search the car but they both objected. So he called his superior who went to the scene and the m en said they would only accept a search if it was carried out by members of the Criminal Investigation Department. The car was later searched and nothing was found.”

So why did the Degiorgios refuse a search the first time, unless they had something to hide?

And then, we have the cherry of the cake. “At the end of the sitting, Magistrate Antonio Micallef Trigona rejected a request for bail and ruled there was sufficient evidence for Dr Gatt to be indicted.” What happened to this sufficient evidence by the end of the trial? Why the u-turn?

Malta is so small. Same building with the stairs. So many testimonies.Same Degiorgio brothers of the press release. Same village lawyer. Same David Gatt of the press release.

And yet, he was acquitted from our courts and the mind continues to boggle.

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