Melchior Spiteri charged with Cassone murder
Melchior Spiteri, who has been convicted dozens of times for crimes including murder, was yesterday charged with killing an Italian chef at a St Julians outlet almost 14 years ago.
Wearing what looked like a black, leather three-quarter length coat and with his dark hair pulled back in a ponytail, Mr Spiteri exercised his right to remain silent during his arraignment, something which happens only rarely.
This means that, as laid down by law, the plea was registered as a not guilty one in the case document.
Mr Spiteri, 31, who is serving a prison sentence, was charged with the murder of Vittorio Cassone at about 6.30 p.m. on January 13, 1993, at Chef D'Italy in Birkirkara Road, St Julians.
He was also charged with stealing several items including cash from Chef D'Italy, holding Mr Cassone and other people against their will, the illegal possession of a firearm, firing it in an inhabited area and relapsing. Mr Spiteri is currently serving a 30-year jail term after jurors in a trial found him guilty of fatally shooting Jason Azzopardi, known as Is-Sufu, in Cospicua on October 22, 2001.
The judge in that trial had painted a clear picture of Mr Spiteri's criminal past and noted that he first broke the law in 1990 when he was 15 years old. Since then he has been convicted at least 59 times for crimes ranging from contraventions to violence.
Police Inspector Chris Pullicino prosecuted. Lawyer Franco Debono appeared for Mr Spiteri.