The man charged with killing a father and son found in a field last Wednesday was accused again yesterday of murdering a third person who went missing last August.
Jason Galea, 39, of Birżebbuġa was accused – together with Ronald Urry, 49, of Paola – of murdering Matthew Zahra, 27, who had been reported missing on the evening of August 15.
The police believe that bones discovered in the same field where Mario Camilleri and his son were found belong to Mr Zahra, although test results are pending.
The men pleaded not guilty to the charges and to stealing items from Mr Zahra’s body, illegal possession of a firearm and firing a gun in a public place. Mr Galea denied breaching bail conditions and Mr Urry denied relapsing.
In a second arraignment, George Galea, 41, of St Julian’s, who happens to be Mr Urry’s half-brother, was charged with killing Camilleri, known as L-Imnieħru, and his 21-year-old Mario on Wednesday.
He denied murdering them, stealing items from their bodies, being in illegal possession of a firearm, firing it in a public place, damaging a Peugeot partner van and relapsing.
The accused only spoke to confirm their particulars: Mr Urry said he was a watchman, Jason Galea the director of a company and his co-accused in the Camilleri murders, George Galea, a security guard.
Jason Galea is also the brother-in-law and uncle of the Camilleris.
The estranged wife of Mr Urry and her four children asked Magistrate Ian Farrugia for a ban on publication of the name of her husband as they still shared his surname and did not want to be associated with him. She said they lived their lives independently of him.
The magistrate, however, said that in terms of the law there was little he could do.
A few hours before the arraignment the police called a press conference to say they had “declarations” in hand to prove that Mr Zahra had been shot on the day he was reported missing by his family.
Assistant Commissioner Pierre Calleja said that, according to these declarations, Mr Zahra’s body was dumped in the field in Qajjenza as well.
However, the police were still waiting for the results of scientific tests that would determine whether the human remains found in the field belonged to Mr Zahra.
Mr Calleja pointed out that, in the past, people had been found guilty of murder without the victim’s body having been found.
He said the gun used in the murder of Mr Zahra had not been found and neither had that used to shoot the Camilleris.
The police were not in a position to say whether the same weapon was used to kill Mr Zahra and the Camilleris given that Mr Zahra’s body was still missing.
The police, however, are in possession of the knife used to stab Mario Jr 34 times. It was found in the field.
They have no immediate plans to charge anyone else over the murders. However, this could not be completely ruled out, depending on where investigations led them, Mr Calleja said.
Police Inspectors Chris Pullicino, Michael Mallia, Fabian Fleri and Louise Calleja prosecuted in the case.
Lawyers Giannella de Marco and Gianluca Caruana Curran appeared for Mr Galea while lawyer Joe Giglio appeared for Jason Galea and legal procurator Mario Mifsud Bonnici appeared for Mr Urry.
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