Roderick Cassar, who stands accused of murdering his estranged wife, Bernice, has failed in his second attempt to secure bail.
Magistrate Neville Camilleri rejected Cassar’s application after the prosecution reminded the court that the accused had threatened his wife's family.
His defence lawyer, Arthur Azzopardi, argued that he should be granted bail because other civilians had testified in the compilation of evidence which had now reached an advanced stage.
They said the accused’s elderly father was willing to step in as third-party guarantor.
'All will pay'
However that argument was strongly rebutted by the prosecution, led by AG lawyer Angele Vella who argued that Cassar was not a minor.
“Once he gets something into his head he will do it. That’s what he did, going against every order whatever the authority," she said.
The accused was not trustworthy and his father could not check him, she argued, adding: “That’s why we’re here.”
Vella said the accused's line of thought was "unless she’s mine then she will be nobody else’s,” reminding the court that after allegedly shooting his wife, he had taken her mobile and browsed through it, and then sent messages to her relatives.
The accused had also breached a previous protection order, threatening and harassing his estranged wife and his threats extended to her entire family.
“All will pay for it, from Żebbuġ to Santa Lucia,” Cassar had allegedly menaced.
Witnesses have 'no peace of mind'
The man had allegedly shot his victim in broad daylight at 8 am with an unlicenced weapon and that showed that he had access to such weapons.
His connections could also possibly facilitate his absconding.
As for the defence’s argument that all civilians had testified, the prosecutor said that that was not so.
“Civilian witnesses have no peace of mind since the crime. Let alone if God forbid he is granted bail.”
Bail was objected to not only because of the gravity of the offence and more civilians to testify but also because the accused could commit other crimes in future, said Vella.
The defence rebutted that the fear of future wrongdoing had to be backed by evidence.
As for civilian witnesses, eyewitnesses had testified and other civilians were peripheral to the actual incident, even if relevant, it argued.
After hearing submissions and considering the presumption of innocence on one hand and the public interest on the other hand, the court, presided over by Mr Justice Neville Camilleri, turned down the request since it was not yet shown that the accused could abide by bail conditions.
The judge however directed the AG to indicate other civilian witnesses still to testify.
Lawyers Franco Debono, Marion Camilleri and Jacob Magri are also defence counsel. Lawyers Marita Pace Dimech and Ann Marie Cutajar appeared parte civile.
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