The families of two murdered men are “devastated” and “extremely disappointed” at how the alleged murderer has “managed to dodge” his trial meant to begin on Monday.

Pippo Pandolfino and Tom Maciejowski – the brothers of murdered men Christian Pandolfino and Ivor Maciejowski – spoke to Times of Malta shortly after Daniel Muka’s trial was postponed to April. He has objected to being represented by a State-funded lawyer.

“We have to emotionally prepare ourselves each time we go to court and each delay adds so much more unnecessary heartache,” Maciejowski said.

“We all desperately need closure.”

Chris Pandolfino (second from left) with his siblings (from left) Paula, Pippo and Daniela. Photo: Family photoChris Pandolfino (second from left) with his siblings (from left) Paula, Pippo and Daniela. Photo: Family photo

Pandolfino said that, three years ago, when his brother was murdered, he had to break the horrible news to his mother and father and he had to do it again yesterday.

“When my brother was murdered, my parents were 84 and it was the hardest thing I had to do in my life,” he said.

“Today, they’re 87 and I had to go back to them and tell them they won’t see justice for now. I’m worried that, like Daphne Caruana Galizia’s mother, they too will not have enough time to see justice done. They have every right to achieve closure on their son’s brutal murder.”

I had to tell my parents my brother was killed. Today I had to go tell them they won’t see justice for now- Pippo Pandolfino

The couple were fatally shot in what investigators believe may have been a botched robbery in 2020 involving three men. Albanian Daniel Muka, 28, allegedly pulled the trigger.

Muka was already a suspect in an audacious 2017 jewellery heist in which he allegedly tried to shoot two policemen during his arrest.

Maciejowski – who purposely flew in with his family from the UK for the trial – said that, while his family was extremely grateful for the hard work of law enforcement on the case, they were baffled as to how the Maltese legal system allowed Muka to “dodge justice” once again.

Ivor (right) with his parents. Photo: Family photo

Ivor (right) with his parents. Photo: Family photo

Ivor (right) with his brother, Tom. Photo: Family photo

Ivor (right) with his brother, Tom. Photo: Family photo

The trial had been scheduled to start last May. Back then, he had also changed his lawyer, forcing the court to postpone the trial to yesterday, to give his new, legal aid lawyer enough chance to work the case.

Pandolfino also praised the work of law enforcement and said he understood the judge had his hands tied. However, he fears the accused is using delaying tactics to be released on bail again.

Each delay adds so much more unnecessary heartache- Tom Maciejowski

“No wonder court cases in Malta take forever to be decided,” Pandolfino said.

“The longer this case drags out, the less likely it is that the killer will be brought to justice. Look what happened with the case of Albert Rosso – the two men were acquitted and justice failed him. Doesn’t this country learn anything from past mistakes?”

What if, in April, Muka again says he does not trust his new lawyer, Pandolfino asked.

“Will this go on forever? If any other criminal out there follows his lead, all the court cases that already take ages will be further delayed. All they have to do is say they don’t have faith in their lawyer at the last minute.”

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