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Man wanted on 26 cases of fraud tracked down in Gozo

Seven European arrest warrants already issued against 33-year-old

An alleged fraudster was remanded in custody following his arraignment on Wednesday on the strength of seven European Arrest Warrants issued by Hungarian authorities in his regard.

Roland Istvan Gabor, a 33-year old Hungarian national having a registered address in Victoria, was arraigned before the Magistrates’ Court following an alert on the Schengen Information System in November 2017.

Maltese authorities, acting upon seven European Arrest Warrants issued by the Hungarian judicial authorities, tracked down the man who is wanted in his home country to face criminal proceedings over 26 cases of fraud.

As prosecuting officer Mario Cuschieri presented all the relative documentation in court, the man’s wife sat at the back of the courtroom weeping silently and evidently greatly agitated.

After confirming that the man seated in the dock was the person indicated in the arrest warrants, presiding magistrate Neville Camilleri proceeded to consider the defence’s request for bail.

“This man works in Malta, has a family here and had handed over all his personal documents to the police,” legal aid lawyer Francine Abela argued, pointing out that there was no way he could possibly abscond.

“The court could even impose a condition of having him sign the bail book every four hours, if need be,” the defence lawyer continued, adding that the man’s wife was present in court, while his two young children were waiting outside.

However, this request for bail was objected to by the prosecution, assisted by lawyer Matthew Xuereb from the AG’s Office, who pointed out that the Maltese authorities were still in the process of receiving further arrest warrants targeting Mr Gabor.

“It is precisely at this stage that the fear of absconding is most real,” the lawyer argued.

After hearing submissions by both parties, the court turned down the request for bail and remanded the man in custody for his case to be assigned to another court tasked with presiding over extradition proceedings.

Inspector Mark Galea also prosecuted.

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