Updated 1.45pm, adds arraignment

A delivery man was remanded in custody on Tuesday after he pleaded not guilty to the attempted importation of gunpowder. 

Jomic Calleja Maatouk, 34, from Żebbuġ, was charged with trying to import gunpowder into Malta without a police permit. 

Police Inspector Omar Zammit said the police investigation began at the end of August when the police received confidential information that someone was trying to import gunpowder.

He said the accused had been arrested and questioned but released.

Investigations continued, another arrest warrant was requested and the man was re-arrested by the Counter-terrorism police on Monday. The inspector did not specify what new information the police had in hand that merited the fresh arrest.

Mr Calleja Maatouk was further charged with breaching the bail conditions of two other court cases as well as with breaching other court orders. 

He pleaded not guilty and did not request bail.

Defence lawyer Benjamin Valencia requested a ban on publication of his client’s name, saying that people were already associating him with some sort of terrorism activity.

However, magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras turned down the request saying she was sure the media will report the case correctly.  

The police said prior to the arraignment the man's arrest followed days of surveillance. Several electronic items and vehicles were seized during a search at the Żebbuġ property.


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