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UPDATE – Bojan Cmelik has been found guilty of the murder of Hugo Chetcuti. The jury returned an eight-to-one guilty verdict for wilful homicide after deliberating for less than six hours. Judge Aaron Bugeja has retired to chambers to deliver sentencing. The jury also unanimously found Cmelik guilty of having violently resisted arrest and unlawful possession of a weapon.
Times of Malta says Konrad Mizzi refused to appear in parliament as witness for a second time
MaltaToday reports that a 65-year-old dog owner is now prohibited by court from owning or raising dogs after eight of his own dogs were found neglected in his Żejtun home.
Newsbook reports that 80.9% of the population consider housing costs as a burden.
TVM says that a report by the International Monetary Fund Report about the global pandemic shows that Malta has the lowest rate of people looking for work in Euro Zone countries.
Mid-Day Briefing 1300hrs
Covid-19 Update: 18 new cases were reported on Wednesday, with 13 recoveries, increasing the active case tally to 285. Seven persons are currently hospitalised, none of whom are in ITU.
Importers want EV grants for used cars too: The Used Vehicles Importers Association (UVIA) and the Malta Car Importers Association (MCIA) said the Electric vehicles grant should apply to both new and used electric vehicles because the latter did not produce any more emissions than the former. They also argued that the grant announced in Budget 2022, which could reach €12,000 when an old vehicle is scrapped – was not enough for people in the middle and lower-income brackets to opt for electric vehicles instead of polluting ones.
Jurors deliberating on Hugo Chetcuti case: The jury in the trial of Serb national Bojan Cmelik, who stands accused of murdering entrepreneur Hugo Chetcuti, has retired to deliberate after a week-long trial. It is understood that the crucial decision which will determine Cmelik’s fake is the issue of whether Chetcuti’s death was the result of the stabbing or of a mistake by doctor. The defence has pushed the latter argument, summoning doctors to testify in this sense. Mr. Justice Aaron Bugeja is presiding over the trial.
Konrad Mizzi summoned to testify again: Former Minister Konrad Mizzi has been summoned to a parliamentary committee to testify about the Electrogas power station project, a week after refusing to appear before the PAC arguing that the investigation is a partisan attack.
No changes to Steward agreement – Fearne
Deputy PM Chris Fearne rejected claims that the government made any changes to its concession agreement with Steward Healthcare, with the Opposition highlighting how financial estimates issued with the budget show a spike in the funds allocated for the running of two hospitals. Steward Healthcare will be getting €69 million to run the Gozo and Karin Grech hospitals next year, a significant €20 million in just one year. “There have been no new arrangements to the concession. The increase is a result of more investment in the health sector,” Fearne argued. The concession is currently the subject of a court case brought by former PN leader Adrian Delia.
No breach of ethics in Muscat’s Italy holiday – Hyzler
Former PM Joseph Muscat did not breach ethics when traveling to Italy with his family on a holiday funded by a third party in August 2020.
In a statement, the Standards Commissioner George Hyzler said that he had arrived at this conclusion after considering a complaint by Arnold Cassola. However, Hyzler recalled that in July 2020 he had recommended that MPs should be prohibited from accepting gifts, benefits and hospitality if they would thereby be placed under an obligation in the performance of their duties, or if they would reasonably be seen to be placed under such an obligation. This would be a much wider prohibition than that in the current code of ethics.
Covid-19 Update: 17 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Tuesday, with 7 virus patients currently requiring hospital treatment. One patient is in the ITU.