One of three men awaiting trial for a double murder in Sliema is to plead guilty after agreeing to a 40-year jail sentence as part of a plea deal.
Jesper Kristiansen is one of three men accused of murdering Christian Pandolfino and Ivor Maciejowski inside their Sliema home in August 2020.
Kristiansen, a Danish national, had fled Malta following the murder but was arrested 10 days later in Spain, after Spanish police tracked him down in Cadiz, and extradited him back to Malta to face criminal charges.
The other two men facing murder charges in the case are Albanian national Daniel Muka and Serbian national Viktor Dragomanski.
Prosecutors opted to charge the three separately but on Monday informed the Criminal Court that the three had been put together under one joint bill of indictment.
That meant Kristiansen, Dragomanski and Muka were to stand trial together.
However, Madam Justice Natasha Galea Sciberras took note of a joint note filed by the prosecution and Kristiansen's defence team, which noted that the parties had agreed on the terms of a plea bargain.
The court was informed that Kristiansen would enter a guilty plea against the agreed punishment of 40 years and his share of court expenses.
The accused, assisted by lawyers Stefano Filletti and Roberto Montalto, confirmed that he understood the implications of that note.
AG lawyer Kevin Valletta then asked for the separation of proceedings, meaning that Dragomanski and Muka would part company with Kristiansen.
That request was upheld.
Kristiansen is expected to formally confirm his plea at another sitting in the near future.
Had he gone to trial, Kristiansen could have faced up to life in prison if found guilty. Once his plea deal is formalised, he will also be able to testify against his co-accused without the fear of self-incrimination.
AG lawyer Kevin Valletta is prosecuting. Lawyers Stefano Filletti and Roberto Montalto are counsel to Kristiansen. Lawyers Joe Giglio and Michaela Giglio are appearing parte civile.