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Man who set car on fire to be sentenced after admitting guilt

Man who set car on fire to be sentenced after admitting guilt
Mar 4 2022 Share

A man has admitted to having intentionally started a fire which destroyed a car last Saturday in Msida. 

The 35-year-old Luqa resident and of Turkish nationality was arraigned before magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech this morning accused of arson. The man was charged with having set the car alight in Clarence street at around 5:30am on Saturday. 

The man, who manages a kebab shop, was taken into police custody on Thursday. The court was told that the man had cooperated with the police during interrogation and pleaded guilty to the charges. 

In their submissions on punishment, the prosecution and defence suggested a two-year prison sentence, suspended for four years. The court adjourned the case to 21st of March for sentencing, pointing out that the value of the car destroyed had yet to be quantified. 

The man was released on bail pending sentencing against a deposit of €600 and a personal guarantee of €4,400. He was also ordered to sign a bail book twice a week. 

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Calls for social peace as Malta’s foreign minister meets Russian cultural director

Calls for social peace as Malta’s foreign minister meets Russian cultural director
Mar 4 2022 Share

Posting to Facebook, Foreign Affairs Minister Evarist Bartolo revealed that a meeting was held between the director of the Russian Centre for Culture and Science and himself in Valletta yesterday.

The statement appealed for peace between different communities to prevail as the two authority figures spoke about the importance of social peace between the Maltese, Russians and Ukrainians who live in the country. 

Bartolo said that we shouldn’t allow any kind of hatred or violence to enter between us and that ‘we should treat everyone as human beings and live together for everyone’s sake. 

The meeting with director Dr Irina Pereverzeva comes amidst the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The invasion prompted many countries, including Malta, to introduce sanctions against the invading country. Malta also joined 37 other countries in referring reports of Russian atrocities in Ukraine to the International Criminal Court which is the larges referral in the history of the ICC. 

Malta’s government has however urged people not to demonise all Russians. This was echoed by Prime Minister Robert Abela before the passport scheme which allowed Russians to buy Maltese citizenship was halted as the conflict ensues. 

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Zelenskyy issues ’nuclear terrorism’ warning as Russia seizes power plant

Zelenskyy issues ’nuclear terrorism’ warning as Russia seizes power plant
Mar 4 2022 Share

Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant has been seized by the Russian military following a fire sparked by overnight shelling which burned for several hours at the largest facility of its kind in Europe. This was announced by regional authorities, with Ukrainian state inspectorate for nuclear regulation saying that despite the seizure by Russian forces, employees were continuing to work on the premises. 

‘Changes in the radiation state for the current time have not been recorded’ the statement said. Two power units had been disconnected from the network and nuclear installations were being cooled down. However, a warning was issued that any loss of the possibility to cool down nuclear fuel will lead to significant radioactive releases into the environment which could ‘exceed all previous accidents at nuclear power plants, including the Chernobyl accident and the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged Europe to ‘wake up now’, stating that the largest nuclear station in Europe is on fire. ‘If there will be an explosion, it will be the end to all of us: the end of Europe, the evacuation of Europe.’ He went on to accuse Russia of nuclear terror as ‘no country other than Russia has ever fired on nuclear power units. This is the first time in our history, in the history of mankind, the terrorist state has now resorted to nuclear terror.’ 

The fire was extinguished shortly after and no injuries were reported among staff. However, Russian authorities have claimed they are not responsible for the fire, saying their forces came under attack while patrolling the plant from Ukrainian saboteurs. Foreign ministers from NATO nations are meeting in Brussels today March 4th to discuss the invasion and possible actions to be taken as Ukraine requests the joining of the EU as well as a no-fly zone to be enforced over their airspace. 

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Superyacht of Russian oligarch docked at Vittoriosa marina amid sanctions

Superyacht of Russian oligarch docked at Vittoriosa marina amid sanctions
Mar 4 2022 Share

A Superyacht which is owned by a Russian multi-millionaire with Maltese citizenship sailed and docked in the Grand Harbour this Friday. 

This comes as several countries press sanction on allies of Vladimir Putin following the invasion of neighbouring Ukraine. The 70-meter Polaris is owned by Maxim Shubarev, who pursed Maltese citizenship in 2018.

Sources revealed that Shubarev was not personally on board the vessel which is in turn held by Polaris Charters limited, a Malta-based company owned by Shubarev. 

The 59-year-old oligarch is the chairman of Setl Group, a major Russian construction company based in St Petersburg. Online sites estimate that he has a net worth of around $500 million. 

Following the invasion, the EU issued sanctions against 680 individuals and 53 entities linked to the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. The sanctions are meant to target wealthy Russians and thus limit their movement but Shubarev does not appear to be on the list of oligarchs to be sanctioned. 

The Maltese government has revealed none of the Russian oligarchs sanctioned by the EU so far have Maltese citizenship. This follows a special address earlier this week by European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, who said that European ports must be closed off to the super yachts owned by wealthy Russians. 

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Photo Source: Newsbook (Miguela Xuereb)