Investigators could be inching closer towards discovering the identity of the intended victim of a bomb attack, the explosives for which had been mailed to a Maltese buyer all the way from the United States.

This was the latest twist in the compilation of evidence against Jomic Calleja, the 34-year-old Żebbuġ resident, currently accused of attempting to import the explosive material as well as lethal poisons which he allegedly purchased from a seller on the dark web. 

Local police authorities had kicked off investigations following a tip-off by foreign security services about the intended consignment of the suspicious materials to a Maltese purchaser and had even traveled to Arizona last summer to verify.

The explosives had been extracted by an expert before the parcel was sent on to its intended addressee, a Maltese resident named “Roger Tabone”.

When proceedings continued on Wednesday, a female official from Identity Malta confirmed under oath that a search for “Roger Tabone” in the agency’s public registry had yielded negative results. 

Carmel Grech, the accused’s father, also testified, explaining that he used to pay a bill for a mobile number registered in his name but used by his son. 

Shown a document regarding the lease of a Qormi showroom, the man strongly denied that the signature next to his identity card number on that agreement, was actually his.

“No, no, no,” the man insisted, even after being duly warned by the court about the dire consequences of lying under oath. 

“Other witnesses have said that you were present at the showroom. What were you doing there?” Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech asked, warning that she would appoint a handwriting expert to verify whether the signature at issue was genuine. 

The man explained that he sometimes used to visit the Qormi premises since his son was there, adding that the place had belonged to “two persons” and that the lease had “expired some six months ago”.

“So are you saying that someone could have signed that document in your stead?” went on the court, appointing the handwriting expert to verify the signature accordingly, having warned the witness of serious consequences he would face if it turned out that he lied under oath. 

“Move it [the document] closer towards him so he may see it better” blurted out the accused, soon to be hushed by the prosecution.

As the hearing drew to an end, the Court declared that it would decree upon a fresh bail request in chambers. 

It was at that stage that the prosecution informed the court that only last week, the police had been approached by two persons, one of whom claimed to have information that could possibly shed light upon the “identity of the person for whom the bomb may have been intended”.

The case continues next week.

Superintendent George Cremona and Inspector Omar Zammit are prosecuting.  Lawyer Benjamin Valenzia is defence counsel.

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