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Accused pleads not guilty in third murder trial

Updated: Convicted double murderer Saviour Mangion this morning pleaded not guilty to a third murder, that of Cospicua woman Maria Stella Magrin.

The Zejtun man, already serving a life sentence, was last July found to be mentally  fit to stand trial. Magrin was fatally stabbed in her home in 1986.

His lawyer had submitted that he suffered schizophrenia for at least 16 years, and it was likely that he had mental health problems well before that.

However prosecutor  Nadine Sant had 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.

Three psychiatrists, George Debono, Peter Muscat and Ethel Felice testified that they examined the accused and found he was mentally fit to stand trial.

Mangion is already in prison serving a life sentence for the murder of Rosina Zammit, 54 in Safi in 1984. He was also jailed for 21 years for the murder in 1998 of Francis Caruana. He stabbed both repeatedly.

Magrin was fatally stabbed in a robbery involving three men. According to court testimony, Mangion knocked on the door and the victim opened without asking who it was. They went upstairs, robbed her and killed her.

"He killed her because she would otherwise identify him",the court was told by the police in July when the court considered Mangion's mental health.

Mr Mangion had been described as Malta's serial killer by Mr Justice Joseph Galea Debono after his second conviction.

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