Albanian Ledjon Brakaj, 36 years old, wanted by Greek justice for a macabre crime that happened on the island of Aegina, near Athens, was arrested today by the authorities in Malta.
Brakaj allegedly killed his retired souvenir shop owner Irini Marmarino and her nephew Lambros Protonotarios inside the elderly woman's home in 2015. He robbed them of around 780,000 euros in cash and valuables.
According to Greek media, the way Brakaj killed the victims was cruel and brutal, as they were beaten, tortured and then burned alive. Piraeus coroner Elias Bogiokas was quoted as saying at the time that the victims were attacked with kicks, punches and sticks and then burned alive.
Meanwhile, the Maltese media have published photos of the arrest of the 36-year-old, who lived in Malta as a regular resident.
The police arrested and prosecuted Brakaj on the basis of a European arrest warrant issued by Greece last March.
Maltese inspectors Kurt Ryan Farrugia and Robinson Mifsud testified that Brakaj was arrested after his fingerprints matched those sent by the Greek authorities.
However, the 36-year-old's lawyer, Franco Debonoi, countered that this evidence was not presented to the court and therefore the court should not rely on it.
He also warned that his client's name does not match the name given on the arrest warrant issued by Greece.
The defense did not seek bail and Judge Noel Bartolo ordered Brakaj to be remanded in custody pending a hearing next week, during which extradition proceedings in Athens will be discussed.