Updated 7pm

A woman who allegedly defrauded her employer of some €25,000 was granted bail after pleading not guilty on Thursday. 

Natalija Markovic, a 50-year-old Slovenian national from Żurrieq, was charged with misappropriating funds to the detriment of the company running the Buġibba hotel where she worked as an account payable supervisor.

The alleged criminal wrongdoing took place on April 30.

Markovic said she was an accountant by profession. However, a spokesperson for the Malta Institute of Accountants told Times of Malta that she is not listed on the Register of CPA Warrant Holders and is not warranted to work as an accountant in Malta. 

Upon arraignment on Thursday afternoon, the accused pleaded not guilty to misappropriation, fraud, making a fraudulent gain as well as a false declaration in a private document.

Prosecuting Inspector Godwin Scerri pointed out that the charges carried a term of imprisonment. 

However, a request for bail was not objected to as long as sufficiently stringent conditions - including an adequate deposit and personal guarantee - were imposed by the court.

Defence lawyer Francesca Zarb highlighted the fact that the accused had an untainted criminal record and had firm ties in Malta.

She had lived here for 20 years, had a Maltese partner and a family. 

After hearing submissions, the court, presided over by Magistrate Jean Paul Grech, upheld the request against a deposit of €700, a personal guarantee of €5,000, signing the bail book twice a week and a curfew between 9pm and 6am. 

The court also prohibited the woman from approaching the hotel. 

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