timesofmalta.com, 13 September 2010

The Attorney General has filed an appeal, asking the Criminal Court of Appeal to raise the fine imposed on three men who last month were convicted of having destroyed trees at the Foresta 2000 site in Mellieha.

The trees were reportedly vandalised in protest over hunting regulations.

The Attorney General said the fine of €1,000 imposed by the court was well below the minimum laid down by law and should be substantially increased.

The three men – Darren Cross, 24, from Bir­kirkara, Noel Grech, 24, and Charlot Chetcuti, 20, both from Mosta – had pleaded guilty and were also ordered to do 300 hours of community service.

They admitted to vandalising 104 trees at the woodland in Mellieħa last April.

Most of the trees were planted to replace 3,000 trees destroyed in a previous systematic act of vandalism in October 2007.

The trees were hacked away on the night of April 25 in a similar style to that employed by the vandals who struck in 2007. The perpetrators of the first incident were never caught.