Update 2 | Suspect who 'vanished' while waiting in court for arraignment is caught again

Police recapture suspected thief, who escaped his guards while waiting in court for arraignment

Thief does a Houdini while waiting in court corridor to be arraigned (File photo)
Thief does a Houdini while waiting in court corridor to be arraigned (File photo)

Updated at 4:55pm with court proceedings

An Italian man who gave his guards the slip whilst inside the court building, has been recaptured by the police.

Giuseppe Condello Borg, 25, residing in Mgarr was due to be charged this afternoon over a number of thefts and attempted thefts from Mgarr and Mosta during the months of October and November this year.

However, his arraignment had to be suspended after the accused managed to escape his guards while waiting in the court corridor.

In a statement issued in the afternoon, the police said the accused had escaped and exited the court building but was found sometime later and re-arrested.

Within an hour of his escape, Condello Borg was escorted back to the courtroom, having been found in Mgarr and taken back into police custody.

Whilst waiting for the magistrate to return to the courtroom the Italian apologised to inspector Godwin Scerri, saying he had gone back to his home in Mgarr as he had been “frightened.”

“I’m just 25 years old,” he told Inspector Scerri after his return to the courtroom. “I have nothing to say to you,” replied the inspector.

To his lawyer, the man then said “I want to pay. I want to make things good…for my daughter’s sake.”

The accused had been arrested in Mġarr early on Sunday morning, after a passing police patrol noted that the man matched the description of a suspect in a string of car thefts in the Mġarr and Mosta area. After his arrest, the officers are understood to have discovered screwdrivers and other tools, which could have been used to commit the thefts.

No bail

Condello Borg’s arraignment finally got underway just after 4:30pm. Dressed in a red hoodie, ripped jeans and colourful sneakers, the man told the court that he worked as a tile layer.

Inspector Scerri informed the court that the prosecution would be adding a new charge of escaping from custody. He briefly explained that the man had originally been arrested after the Mosta police station had received a number of reports of nighttime thefts and had placed the area in question under surveillance. The accused had been arrested as a result.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges. Asked whether bail was being requested, the defence declared that at this stage of proceedings and in the circumstances of this case, no such request was being made.

The court ordered Condello Borg to be remanded in custody.



Condello Borg was last seen in the corridor outside Magistrate Noel Bartolo’s courtroom, waiting for his arraignment to begin. When the sitting was due to start, prosecuting Inspector Godwin Scerri walked out of the courtroom to call the accused in. He returned a few minutes later, in evident consternation, telling the court that the officers escorting the Italian had told him that he had seemingly vanished.

Magistrate Noel Bartolo said that the arraignment could not take place in the absence of the accused.

Inspector Scerri asked the court for guidance as the charges had already been filed in the registry and could not be withdrawn.

The magistrate suspended the arraignment and retired to chambers. After discussing the matter with the inspector and defence lawyer  Jacob Magri for a few minutes in private, the court declared that as the arraignment had not started, the charges would have to be withdrawn from the registry in order for the man to be arraigned and charged after he is found.