Former police inspector-turned-lawyer David Gatt has been acquitted of being an accomplice in a criminal gang responsible for a series of high-profile hold-ups. 

Dr Gatt was accused of complicity in the attempted hold-up at the HSBC Malta headquarters; the hold-up on a jeweller in Attard; complicity in the attempted hold-up of a bank security van in Qormi; and complicity in the successful hold-up at Balzan HSBC branch in November 2007 when some €1m were stolen.

He was also charged with complicity in holding people against their will and helping people wanted by the police including Fabio Psaila, Darren Debono and Vincent Muscat before they were arraigned over the attempted HSBC depot hold-up.

The prosecution case had been built around the evidence of policeman Mario Portelli, who was subsequently boarded out for medical reasons.

In handing down judgement this morning, Magistrate Tonio Micallef Trigona said he did not find Mr Portelli's testimony to be credible and there was no evidence linking Dr Gatt to the crimes he was accused of.

Dr Joe Giglio and Dr Edward Gatt were defence counsel.

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