Qormi PL club stab­bing vic­tim tes­ti­fies that ar­gu­ment be­gan over com­ments on his Mus­lim wife

Malta Independent - - NEWS - He­lena Grech

The court yes­ter­day heard how an ar­gu­ment at a Labour Party club ear­lier this month took place af­ter a man had passed com­ments about the Mus­lim wife of an­other man.

Al­fred Galea, a baker aged 46, has been charged with the at­tempted mur­der of Al­fred Felice over an in­ci­dent which took place at the Qormi PL club on 6 Novem­ber 2016.

Mr Felice, who lives in Qormi in close prox­im­ity to the ac­cused, tes­ti­fied that he was drink­ing at the PL club in ques­tion when his wife, called Sawsen, en­tered the club and started to dance.

Mr Felice said that he heard a man who was also at the club, named Joseph Muscat, ap­proach his wife and af­ter he heard her speak­ing, he asked whether she was a Mus­lim woman.

Af­ter she con­firmed this, Muscat had al­legedly told her that her god is not the same as the Chris­tian god, and that she should be wear­ing a veil.

Mr Felice said that af­ter hear­ing all this, he ap­proached Mr Muscat, asked him what his prob­lem was and said that he was say­ing non­sense.

It was at this point, ac­cord­ing to Mr Felice, when the ac­cused – Al­fred Galea – ap­proached him, grabbed a pen knife from his pocket and stabbed him three times in the stom­ach.

Mr Galea then grabbed the beer bot­tle he was drink­ing from, and smashed it over the ac­cused’s head, how­ever a group of peo­ple in­ter­vened and sep­a­rated the men.

The wit­ness said that he be­gan to lose con­scious­ness and that the next thing he re­mem­bers is wak­ing up at the In­ten­sive Treat­ment Unit at Mater Dei hos­pi­tal.

The court heard how Mr Felice knew the ac­cused due to how close they live to each other, how­ever he in­sisted that the ar­gu­ment was not be­tween him­self and the ac­cused, and he has no idea how Mr Felice en­tered the ar­gu­ment.

Asked about how much he had drank that af­ter­noon, Mr Felice said be­tween three and four beers, adding that there were times where he would drink up to eight beers.

Also ap­pear­ing as a wit­ness in the case was Joseph Muscat. He ad­mit­ted that he asked the wife of Mr Felice whether she was Mus­lim, and it was for this rea­son that Mr Felice be­gan to tell him off.

Mr Muscat said that he ex­cused him­self, and when Mr Galea ap­proached them to sep­a­rate the two men, Mr Felice – the vic­tim – be­gan to in­sult the ac­cused.

The court heard how the two men, Mr Galea and Mr Felice, be­gan to ar­gue and that Mr Muscat had at­tempted to keep them apart. When he re­alised that the ac­cused was car­ry­ing a pen knife, he im­me­di­ately fled the scene. While leav­ing, Mr Muscat said that he could see that Mr Felice’s top was stained with blood.

The third wit­ness of the day was po­lice sergeant James Weather­ill, who was the first po­lice of­fi­cer to ar­rive on the scene. He said that apart from see­ing the blood-stained top of Mr Felice, the vic­tim’s in­testines were also vis­i­ble.

Mr Weather­ill told the courts how af­ter talk­ing to the ac­cused, and ask­ing him where the pen knife was be­ing kept, Mr Galea asked to what he was re­fer­ring to.

Sergeant Weather­ill said that he asked Mr Galea a num­ber of ques­tions re­lated to the in­ci­dent, how­ever the ac­cused was un­re­spon­sive. He then asked a po­lice of­fi­cer to en­sure that no­body tam­pered with the CCTV footage.

Dr Mario Scerri was ap­pointed to ex­am­ine the ac­cused. When tes­ti­fy­ing in court, he said that Mr Galea had scratches on his face and also had a bump on his head, com­pat­i­ble with re­ceiv­ing a blow.

The wife of Mr Felice, Sawsen Felice was also called to the wit­ness stand, as well as the vic­tim’s fa­ther Manuel Felice. Be­cause they were go­ing to tes­tify while the vic­tim Mr Felice was in the court room, Mag­is­trate Joe Mif­sud who is pre­sid­ing over the case, de­cided not to hear their tes­ti­mony on the day. This ob­jec­tion was raised by lawyer Gianella de Marco, to­gether with her son lawyer Gian­luca Caru­ana Curran, who were both de­fend­ing the ac­cused.

Dr de Marco re­quested bail for the ac­cused, Mr Galea, while In­spec­tors Rod­er­ick Agius and lawyer Ed­ward Gatt, rep­re­sent­ing the vic­tim, ob­jected on the grounds that a bar­man still had to tes­tify. In ad­di­tion to this, an­other man known as “iz-Ze­j­tuni” who was present at the time of the in­ci­dent still needs to be lo­cated.

The third ob­jec­tion raised was on the grounds that the vic­tim and the ac­cused live very close to each other, how­ever it was then said that the ac­cused said that a res­i­dence in Ham­run was avail­able to him.

Mag­is­trate Mif­sud granted the ac­cused bail un­der a num­ber of con­di­tions.

Mr Galea has been granted bail un­der a de­posit of €5,000 and a per­sonal guar­an­tee of €20,000.

Asked about how much he had drank that af­ter­noon, Mr Felice said be­tween three and four beers, adding that there were times where he would drink up to eight beers.

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