A 22-year-old man from Cospicua was accused on Monday of involvement in a hold-up in a Paola store after DNA tests on a blue jacket found at the site of the robbery resulted in a match.

The prosecution explained how CCTV footage as well as DNA tests had helped investigators to solve the case.

Two men, one of them armed with a knife, had held up the shopkeeper, two attendants and a couple of customers.

One of the alleged victims had also been slightly injured.  

A third man, allegedly the driver who had accompanied the other two, was arraigned a fortnight ago.

The case took place on April 16.

Shamison Stafrace, a part-time bar attendant, pleaded not guilty to aggravated theft, holding his alleged victims against their will and slightly injuring one of them whilst bearing a sharp and pointed instrument. He was further charged with breaching a suspending sentence and relapsing.

He was granted police bail over the past few days pending confirmation of DNA tests, the court was informed.

Magistrate Gabriella Vella adjourned the case to Tuesday, reserving a decision on the request for bail until the court heard the testimony of a Sedqa representative in respect of the accused’s claim that his admission to drug rehabilitation “was imminent.”

Meanwhile, the accused was remanded in custody.

Inspectors Fabian Fleri, Lydon Zammit and Oriana Spiteri prosecuted.

Lawyers Franco Debono and Amadeus Cachia were defence counsel.