Sacred items and jewellery stolen from Cospicua parish church in July were recovered after information given during confession, parish priest Anton Cassar said this morning.

The stolen items included chalices and jewellery from the statue of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. The items were found in a house in Cospicua. Some of them were in a roof water tank.

Fr Cassar was testifying in court during proceedings against Marflene Cricchiola, 30, and Gianluca Sultana, 19, who stand accused of having carried out the theft on July 22. They had climbed scaffolding on the facade of the church and then used a rope to climb down to the choir. 

Cricchiola, who was due to take up a job this month, and Sultana, a technician, were jointly charged with the aggravated theft, the damage to cultural property, damage to third party property as well as with having damaged works of art, namely the glass niche enclosing the statue of the Virgin besides other sacred artworks inside the Collegiate Church.

Following his testimony, Fr Cassar approached the accused and told them that he had forgiven them.

Both are pleading not guilty. 

The hearing was presided by Magistrate Yana Micallef Stafrace.  Lawyers Franco Debono and  Amadeus Cachia appeared for Gianluca Sultana and Marion Camilleri and Yanica Vidal appeared for Marflene Cricchiola.