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Police orders not there to be ignored, court tells man charged with resisting arrest

Magistrate Joe Mifsud insisted that the alternative would be to have every person do as they please

matthew_agius
Matthew Agius
29 December 2017, 11:36am
(File Photo)
(File Photo)
A court has warned that police orders must be obeyed and can only be challenged in the correct forum as it refused bail to a man who violently resisted police in Marsa yesterday morning.

Mohammed Aawal Salifu, 33, from Ghana appeared before Magistrate Joe Mifsud this morning, accused of insulting and threatening police, violently resisting arrest, slightly injuring a police officer, breaching the peace, disobeying legitimate orders and damaging an officer’s mobile phone.

He reacted violently to police asking him questions, the court was told, and had injured three officers before he was successfully subdued.

Lawyer Francine Abela, legal aid to the accused, entered a plea of not guilty and requested bail, which was denied by the court.

“The accused was duty bound to, without undue fuss, obey the legitimate orders that he had been given by the police. Legitimate police orders given to citizens are not there to be contested, argued, ridiculed or summarily ignored by the recipient. They are to be obeyed - always and without delay, without prejudice to the right to (later) challenge the intrinsic justice of the order.”

Otherwise, said the court, the alternative would be every person having the right to act as they wished without anyone holding him back. “We would end up in a jungle state - the antithesis of the required order for social harmony.”

The accused’s attitude towards the police was evidently one of lack of respect and of aggressive confrontation, said the court, so much so that he had caused slight injuries to three police officers.

His actions had created alarm amongst the populace and caused great harm to “the reputation of the majority of foreigners who live in our country and who scrupulously obey the laws in harmony with other members of society,” added the magistrate.

matthew_agius
Court reporter Matthew Agius is a Legal Procurator and Commissioner for Oaths. Prior to re...