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Trial put off as defendant has no lawyer

The trial by jury of Ronnie Azzopardi, who is pleading not guilty to murder and trying to kill a further four people, including three children, in 2005, was yesterday postponed because he did not have a legal aid lawyer.

The trial was meant to start yesterday but because Mr Azzopardi wanted a legal aid lawyer and two of them already represent some of the victims, another had to be appointed.

Lawyer Simon Micallef Stafrace agreed to take up the appointment but has not yet received the official notification.

Sources close to the case said it was postponed also because the looming general election could prevent some of the large number of witnesses from turning up to testify.

Mr Azzopardi, 40, from Cospicua is pleading not guilty to the murder of Angela Bondin and with trying to kill his former sister-in-law Mary Rose Cassar and her sons Jesmar, seven, Jean Leon, four, and 20-month-old Kevin.

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