3 Eritre­ans in­volved in al­ter­ca­tion with po­lice de­nied bail, claim of­fi­cers were ag­gres­sors

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Ju­lian Bon­nici

A group of three in­volved in a vi­o­lent al­ter­ca­tion with po­lice of­fi­cers yes­ter­day were de­nied bail af­ter plead­ing not guilty to the charges. The three claimed that the po­lice of­fi­cers had been the ag­gres­sors in the con­fronta­tion.

The in­ci­dent oc­curred on 28 Au­gust at 9.15am af­ter Po­lice Of­fi­cers PS C Az­zopardi and PC J Fal­zon stopped a two-seater van in Marsa af­ter notic­ing that it held four pas­sen­gers; Eritre­ans He­len Tad­dese and Tek­le­sem­bet Yo­hannes Afew­erki; Ethiopian Michael Wub­shet Bekele; and a fourth in­di­vid­ual who was not in court today.

In­spec­tor El­liott Ma­gro, who was rep­re­sent­ing the pros­e­cu­tion, told the court that when po­lice of­fi­cers stopped the ve­hi­cle and be­gan to ques­tion Bekele, who was driv­ing the ve­hi­cle, the ac­cused pushed one of the of­fi­cers and punched him in the face, break­ing the of­fi­cer’s glasses.

He went on to say that while the of­fi­cers were at­tempt­ing to ar­rest Bekele, Tad­dese and Afew­erki then emerged from the ve­hi­cle and be­gan as­sault­ing the po­lice of­fi­cers.

Once the three were ap­pre­hended, Ma­gro said that one of the po­lice of­fi­cers no­ticed a smell of al­co­hol off Bekele, who was later found to have been in­tox­i­cated while driv­ing the ve­hi­cle, which was also found to not have any reg­is­tra­tion.

The lawyer rep­re­sent­ing the three told the court, which was presided over by Mag­is­trate Joe Mif­sud, that quite the op­po­site had taken place, and that his client was claim­ing that it was the po­lice who were the ag­gres­sors and had ini­ti­ated the con­fronta­tion.

Bekele, then stood up and be­gan show­ing wounds on his hand, leg, face and torso to the mag­is­trate.

The mag­is­trate ex­plained that bail could not be given on the ba­sis that the per­pe­tra­tors had taken the law into their own hands and had as­saulted po­lice of­fi­cers.

The lawyer ar­gued that bail should be granted as it was too early to say where the vi­o­lence had started from.

How­ever, the mag­is­trate said that bail needs to be dis­cussed in the con­text of the in­di­vid­ual and so­ci­ety, and that by phys­i­cally im­ped­ing the po­lice and pre­vent­ing them from per­form­ing their duty the in­di­vid­u­als had caused a dan­ger to so­ci­ety.

Lawyers Francine Abela and Ja­son Grima are rep­re­sent­ing Tad­dese, Afew­erki, and Bekele.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.