Details of how a policeman revealed the alleged involvement in crime of former Inspector David Gatt started being given in court this morning during evidence by Deputy Police Commissioner Joseph Cachia.
Speaking during the compilation of evidence against Dr Gatt, the former Inspector-turned-lawyer who is accused of complicity in four major hold-ups – Mr Cachia said that he had been approved by PC99 Mario Portelli who told him he had some information to give him.
He told him that in the past few years he was a friend of David Gatt and got to know of Gatt’s involvement in a number of serious crimes.
He asked PC Portelli if he was involved in any of them and was told that was not the case.
He also asked him why he was telling him about this now. The PC replied that along the years, he always got to know after the events took place but he was afraid that he could start learning beforehand and would not be able to do anything to stop the crimes, making him responsible.
Asked him if there was anything that required immediate intervention, the policeman did not know of anything.
When the policeman started mentioning hold-ups, the Deputy Commissioner asked him to put everything down in writing late last month.
He then produced a six-page report describing how he met David Gatt, how they became friends.
He said that once Gatt had performed an initiation rite on him, burning a holy picture and taking blood from his finger.
He then went on to describe serious crimes, including the Balzan HSBC hold-up in 2007.
PC 99 said that Gatt had spoken to him about the case and told him that he had been asked to give advice. He had told those involved to place some hair at the scene of the crime, to mislead investigators
Later, David Gatt told him after the attempted hold-up on an HSBC security van in Sta Venera and the HSBC depot attempted hold-up.
Gatt appeared frustrated about the latter. He had allegedly been working on it for five months and had inside information from a bank employee. Had the hold-up been successful would have become a millionaire.
Following the attempted hold-up on the HSBC depot, David Gatt told him how he had spoken to Balzan Mayor Dr John Zammit Montebello, seeking his assistance after one of the robbers was shot in the face.
He later had found the doctor at the Smugglers’ in Balzan, taken him to the kitchen and asked him not to mention him while giving evidence.
The Deputy Commissioner said he informed the Commissioner as soon as he returned.
The Commissioner then spoke to PC99, who recounted what was in the report.
The police then questioned Dr Zammit Montebello who confirmed that he had been approached by David Gatt who asked him to help a person who, it had been claimed to him, had been hit with an iron bar on the face.
Duty Magistrate Giovanni Grixti was informed and launched an inquiry on all serious crimes mentioned by PC99.
The Deputy Commissioner referred to the recent attempted hold-up on a jeweller in Attard. He said that on the following day, PC99 contacted him and told him that Gatt had contacted him where he sounded angry that the hold-up was foiled.
He told him he knew the jeweller, Michael Mizzi since he was stationed at Rabat. He asked him if he knew anyone who could assist since one of the robbers had been injured and the doctor he knew was abroad.