Updated 7.15 p.m.

 

Former Chief Justice Noel Arrigo was released from custody today after having served 22 months of his 33-month prison sentence. He served his term in the Forensics Unit of Mt Carmel Hospital, rather than the prisons in Corradino.

Wearing dark sun glasses, Dr Arrigo was whisked away in a four wheel drive vehicle at 7 p.m. after being released early on account of remission. 

Dr Arrigo had been convicted in November 2009 of bribery, trading in influence and revealing official secrets in what was one of the blackest days in the history of the Judiciary in Malta. 

He resigned shortly after the allegations against him surfaced. He had been accused of accepting a bribe of €11,650 when he reduced the jail term of drug trafficker Mario Camilleri from 16 to 12 years after an appeal in July 2002. He was also convicted of trading in influence by trying to influence the other judges on the appeals court, and betraying state secrets when he revealed the court sentence before it was delivered.

During the trial Dr Arrigo admitted to having revealed the court sentence before it was delivered, but his lawyers said they had reservations over whether a judgement qualified as an official secret.

All those involved in the corruption case, including former judge Patrick Vella, were jailed. Dr Vella, who admitted to accepting €23,000 in exchange for reducing Mr Camilleri's jail term, was sentenced to two years in March 2007.

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