from The Times of Malta, January 23, 2002
Three accused of killing St Thomas Bay swans
Three Marsascala hunters were yesterday charged with killing swans at St Thomas Bay last Sunday.
They were granted bail against a Lm100 deposit and a personal guarantee of Lm1,000. The court ordered them to sign once a week at the Zabbar police station and not to speak to any witnesses.
Mario Spagnol, 40, his brother David, 31, and their cousin Jason Spagnol, 23, were arraigned by Inspectors Alex Miruzzi and Morgan Azzopardi.
The hunters were charged with 13 separate counts which included carrying loaded shotguns at St Thomas Bay, where hunting is prohibited, trying to take protected birds, shooting within three kilometres of the coast and having loaded guns out of the gun pockets close to the shore.
They were further charged with being in possession of protected species, conspiring to take protected species and shooting close to public roads.
David and Jason Spagnol were charged with hunting from seacraft without a licence.
Mario Spagnol was charged with having protected species at home which had not been registered with the environment protection department and with being a relapser, having been found guilty of hunting during the close season on March 24, 1999.
The police asked the court to confiscate the swans, the guns and ammunition as well as the boat used and to disqualify the accused from holding a hunting licence.
Dr Edward Gatt appeared for Mario and David Spagnol while Dr Ian Farrugia appeared for Jason Spagnol.