The Maltese police are in the process of issuing a European Arrest Warrant for Jomic Calleja Maatouk, who absconded while appealing a five-year jail term, MaltaToday has learnt.
Police believe that Calleja Maatouk and his partner, Marzia Miramar Maatouk, may have left Malta by private boat to evade justice.
Both were handed down effective prison sentences last month in separate cases but were not jailed because they appealed their respective judgments. Maltese law allows prison sentences handed down by magistrates to be postponed pending a final decision on appeal. As a result, Calleja Maatouk was also released from police custody.
The police have not issued a wanted notice for the pair but Marzia’s brother, Marvin Zammit, posted an appeal on Facebook earlier this week asking people for information on his sister.
He said her mobile phone had been switched off since Wednesday 16 August and on Thursday she did not turn up for work. Commenting on his post, the brother said the last known location of Marzia’s phone was Mosta and the couple left behind eight dogs at home.
Sources close to the investigation said a search carried out over the weekend at the house where the couple lived suggested a hasty departure.
Marzia’s relatives spoke of their fear that her life may be in danger in comments to the Times of Malta on Thursday.
Jomic Calleja Maatouk had been found guilty of attempting to import C4 explosive that he had purchased on the dark web. The package was intercepted by American law enforcement agents, who replaced the explosive with a dud before allowing it to continue on its way to Malta.
During court proceedings, it emerged that Calleja Maatouk had also discussed with his supplier on the dark web, the possibility of buying poisons and radioactive polonium
Calleja Maatouk had also breached bail conditions.
Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech sentenced him to five years in jail, describing Calleja Maatouk as a dangerous person.
Meanwhile, last month, Marzia Miramar Maatouk was handed down a 15-month effective jail term in a separate case after she was found guilty of possessing more than 300g of cannabis. The street value of the drug was estimated to be more than €6,000.
Miramar Maatouk had been arrested in 2019 along with her partner in Valley Road, Birkirkara and a search of the vehicle led to the cannabis discovery.