A judge has warned that delays in the transcription of testimonies are leading to “serious administrative shortcomings” that are breaching people’s fundamental rights to request bail.

Madam Justice Consuelo Scerri Herrera called on the Justice Minister and the Director of the Criminal Courts to ensure this does not continue happening. 

In a written note dated April 16, the judge says that court testimonies made on March 12 – over a month earlier – before the Magistrates’ Court had not yet been transcribed.

As a result, she was not in a position to give a ruling on a bail request as the court documents she had in hand were incomplete. She asked that the written note be included in the documents of the case.

The case was that of Mario and Charlotte Zammit who, on March 3, were charged with stealing more than €2,300 from a residence in Żejtun.

The two were charged with carrying out this robbery on March 1, causing damage during the robbery, as well as violating court rulings.

During their arraignment, they were not granted bail.

Since then, the compilation of evidence against them started being heard and several witnesses took the stand.

The case documents were sent to the Attorney General for review. 

Their lawyer, Mark Busuttil, then filed an application for bail before Madam Justice Scerri Herrera.

But she could not decide on the matter due to incomplete case documents.

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