What happened on... January 11
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What happened on... January 11

10, 25 and 50 years ago

10 years ago - The Sunday Times

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Abela to be nominated President tomorrow

Former Labour deputy leader George Abela is to be nominated as Malta’s eighth President by Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi tomorrow, The Sunday Times has learnt. 

Dr Abela, 60, will succeed Eddie Fenech Adami as President after his five-year term ends on April 4. He will be the second youngest president after Agatha Barbara. 

It is understood that Dr Gonzi will inform Cabinet and the Nationalist Party parliamentary group tomorrow and he is expected to make an official announcement when Parliament reconvenes later in the day. This is the first time that a Maltese Prime Minister will be nominating a member of the opposing party for the presidency. 

Dr Gonzi’s choice is likely to be judged as bold by political observers, though Dr Abela has wide national appeal. It is understood that Labour leader Joseph Muscat approves of the nomination, meaning this is the first time there has been consensus over the nominee by leaders of the respective parties since Anthony Mamo became Malta’s first President in 1974. 

Labour’s parliamentary group will be meeting tomorrow to take a final decision on their support of the nomination.

25 years ago - The Times

Tuesday, January 11, 1994

Two on trial in ‘dismembered body’ case

Two men used splinters of glass from a bottle to saw off the head and arms of a man they had murdered before throwing his body into the sea, a criminal jury heard yesterday.

The victim had been beaten to death with a hammer after he forced his way into the house of one of the defendants and demanded sex, it was alleged.

Senior counsel for the republic, Anthony Barbara, told the jury, presided over by Mr Justice Victor Caruana Colombo, that the two accused, Reno Mercieca, 20, and Gaetano Scerri, 25, hit Bertu Vella, 45, of Siġġiewi in the head and face with a hammer and kept on hitting him even when he fell lifeless to the floor.

The fractures and wounds Vella sustained on April 7, 1991, were sufficient to kill him, the court was told.

According to the bill of indictment, the men then dismembered their victim and stripped him naked to make identification difficult, the prosecution said.

They later took the dismembered body in two sacks down to the Valletta waterpolo pitch and tried to sink the parts.

Mercieca and Scerri have both pleaded not guilty to charges of wilful homicide and of hiding the body.

Half a century ago - Times of Malta

Saturday, January 11, 1969

Malta totally opposed to use of force

Malta’s Prime Minister Dr George Borg Olivier said today he did not believe Rhodesia could be persuaded to accept African majority rule except by use of force.

But he told the Commonwealth Prime Ministers’ conference in London that Malta was totally opposed to the use of force or imposition of Crown Colony rule in Rhodesia.

“NIBMAR is a good catchword. But in reality how can NIBMAR (No independence before majority rule) be enforced if not by force?” he asked. 

Warm welcome for Cardinal Rossi

His Eminence Cardinal Rossi, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, was given a warm welcome by a large gathering of engaged and married couples, who attended the 13th national conference of the Cana Movement at the Catholic Institute, Florina, yesterday evening.

Fr Charles G. Vella, director of the Cana Movement, in an address, said that there was a close relation between the two countries. Many regular priests and nuns from Malta and Gozo were working in various dioceses in Brazil.

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