Electronic tagging raised in constitutional case filed by accused in Sliema double murder

A man charged with double homicide in Malta is claiming that the lack of electronic tagging for suspects is violating his rights

Daniel Muka being led to court, still wearing his bloodstained jacket
Daniel Muka being led to court, still wearing his bloodstained jacket

A man charged with murdering a couple in their Sliema home is claiming that the absence of a system to electronically tag suspects in Malta is breaching his rights

Daniel Muka, from Albania, is indicted over the double homicide of Christian Pandolfino and Ivor Maciejowski, who were shot dead at their house in Locker Street, Sliema in August 2020.

Muka was charged with the murder together with two other men and has been remanded in custody for the past two and a half years. His bail requests have been consistently denied by the courts.

Two other men, Jesper Kristiansen, from Denmark and Viktor Dragomanski from Macedonia, are also indicted and awaiting trial for the murder, which the police have described as a burglary gone wrong. At the time of his arrest, Muka had also been on bail in connection with charges of the attempted murder of two police officers.

In a constitutional application filed last week against the State Advocate and the Attorney General, Muka’s lawyers claimed that their client was bearing the brunt of failures by the Maltese State. Unlike other European countries, Malta has not introduced a system of electronic tagging for suspects, in order to keep track of their movements while on bail. This was leading to suspects in serious cases being denied bail for months, or even years, while compilation of evidence proceedings continued against them.

The application points out that the issue of electronic tagging had been debated in Parilament as far back as 2012, by then MP Franco Debono, who had requested the legislator address this problem.

Muka’s lawyer argued that electronic tagging had been in use in European jurisdictions since the 1990s and the technology had developed since then, as had the rights of the accused.

In an unconnected case, Madame Justice Consuelo Scerri Herrera had also advocated for electronic tagging, saying that this would serve to protect society as well as the rights of the accused.

Mr. Justice Aaron Bugeja had also declared his support for the introduction of such a system, describing it as more professional, effective and efficient than the current system of signing a bail book at the police station. Lawyer Alfred Abela and Renè Darmanin signed the application.