Accountant cleared of defaming John Dalli

An accountant has been acquitted of defaming Finance Minister John Dalli by circulating forged documents four years ago.

Joseph Ellul Grech, 55, of Fgura, was also cleared of forging public, commercial or private bank documents and making malicious use of them, fabricating evidence, and evading customs duty and value added tax on hunting knives, two slings, a crossbow, an air pistol, a knuckle duster and a penknife.

Ellul Grech was however found guilty of keeping the weapons without a licence and fined Lm50.

Magistrate Tonio Micallef Trigona heard how Minister Dalli filed a police report in November 1999 in which he claimed that anonymous letters, containing a fabricated bank statement of the Midland Bank Trans Corporation Limited and other documents, were being circulated.

Police investigations led to Ellul Grech and during a search at his house police seized documents, an air pistol, a cross-bow, two slings, a knuckle duster, a pen knife and three hunting knives.

During questioning Ellul Grech denied the allegations. He however admitted that the weapons found in his house belonged to him.

After evaluating the evidence Magistrate Micallef Trigona ruled it was not up to him to decide on whether or not the exhibited documents were forged. The magistrate was to decide on whether Ellul Grech could be found guilty of forging them or whether he was involved in their circulation.

But the evidence did not prove his involvement. The only thing that had been proven to the level required by the law was that he was in the possession of the weapons without a licence.

Dr Gavin Gulia appeared for Ellul Grech.

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