Paul Pantalleresco, a 55-year-old man from Mqabba, was jailed for two years today after he admitted to bribery and tampering some 250 Smart meters.

Mr Pantelleresco is a former Enemalta employee.

Defence lawyer Arthur Azzopardi, said that while it had been reported that 1,000 meters were tampered with, his client was not responsible for this amount.

Furthermore, he had helped the police in their investigations.

Magistrate Francesco Depasquale, sentenced him to two years in jail and a general perpetual interdiction.


In a second arraignment, Manuel Micallef 35, an Enemalta tradesman from Mtarfa was similarly accused of bribery and tampering. He pleaded not guilty and requested bail.

The prosecution objected, arguing that some 1,000 meters had been tampered and the investigation was still ongoing.

The investigation had initially focused on those who carried out the actual tampering and not all suspected meters had been checked so far.

The police were still identifying people with could be presented as witnesses and it was therefore far too early to grant bail.

Defence lawyer Joe Giglio said the only worry was that of tampering with evidence and witnesses. If people were identified as having been in contact with the accused to tamper with the electricity meter, the police would  probably take legal action against them too, and as co-accused would not even be able to testify in court.

Police inspector Daniel Zammit acknowledged this legal hurdle but said he needed more time to conduct more investigations and examine more meters.

Magistrate Francesco Depasquale ruled that at this stage it was not opportune for bail to be granted and turned down the bail request.

Also denied bail was Richard Gauci, 47, of Rabat, who also pleaded not guilty.

Mr Gauci walked into court with a walking aid and had a bandaged, swollen hand.

Magistrate Depasquale denied bail but suggested that the prison authorities examine the accused.

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