Updated: 'Serial killer' fit to stand trial
Saviour Mangion, the 'serial killer' facing trial for an alleged third murder, was found by a jury this afternoon to be fit to stand trial.
In making his final submissions to jurors, defence cousel Simon Micallef Stafrace insisted this morning that Mr Mangion was in no mental state to face a jury.
Jurors had to decide whether Mr Mangion should face trial for the murder of Maria Stella Magrin, who was fatally stabbed in her home in 1986.
Mangion has already been convicted for two other murders and is serving a life sentence.
The jury found Mr Mangion fit to stand trial by seven votes against two and by eight votes against one that he was not mentally insane when the murder was committed.
In his submissions this morning, Dr Micallef Stafrace said that his client had schizophrenia for at least 16 years, and it was likely that he had mental health problems well before that.
It was only through medication that he could understand procedure.
He noted that Police Inspector Chris Pullicino had testified that on one occasion during the compilation of evidence, the accused had asked him whether he would coud be credible if he pleaded insanity. This, Dr Micallef Stafrace said, was not the behaviour of a normal person.
He said that if the jurors declared that the accused was mentally fit to stand trial, he would contest it once again.
Prosecutor Nadine Sant said that the accused was lucid when he admitted to the crime to the police in 2005. He had gone into minute detail about how the crime was carried out.
The accused, she said, was abusing the legal system by claiming insanity and stalling the case.
This was a case of cold blooded murder and nothing else.
Yesterday three psychiatrists, George Debono, Peter Muscat and Ethel Felice testified that they examined the accused recently and found he was mentally fit to stand trial.
However when they had examined him two years ago they found that he was not fit to testify in the compilation of evidence because his schizophrenia was not under control.
There was a disagreement between the psychiatrists and the prosecution over whether the accused was mentally fit at the time of the crime in 1986. The psychiatrists in their report had referred to another murder on the basis of what the accused had told them. There was, however, a possibility that he was suffering schizophrenia when Maria Magrin was killed.