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AFM personnel charged with murder, as PM orders inquiry

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi expresses sorrow at violent death of migrant and orders inquiry into detention services, as three Armed Forces personnel charged for murder, perversion of justice.

Karl Stagno-Navarra
1 July 2012, 12:00am
A police van with three AFM soldiers arrives at the Valletta Law Courts lock-up facilities
The violent death of a 32 year-old Malian migrant at the hands of Armed Forces personnel has - as expected - raised a political storm as three soldiers have been arraigned in court tonight charged with murder and perverting the course of justice.

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi expressed his deep sorrow at the tragic news, remarking that it was shocking to see how a human being, who escaped the horrors in his country and sought refuge in Malta, had to meet such a terrible death.

While urging all to uphold the principles of innocence until proven guilty, the Prime Minister announced that he has launched an inquiry to look into all aspects of the mandatory detention policy for migrants.

This morning, Opposition leader Joseph Muscat called for transparency and responsibility over the incident, while Alternattiva Demokratika chairperson Michael Briguglio called for an immediate review of Malta's migrant detention policy, and hit out at what he described as "populist politics, racism and unreasonable detention of asylum seekers are the real problem with respect to the politics of migration."

Murder charge

An AFM Sergeant, a Lance Bombardier and a Private were remanded in custody after pleading not guilty to the long list of charges compiled by Inspector Keith Arnaud from the Police Homicide Department.

Clive Cuschieri, 29 of Paola and Mark Anthony Dimech 44 of Gzira were charged with murdering Abdalla Mohammed, 32, causing him serious injury and committing a crime they were all duty bound to prevent.

The two cried as the charges were read out, and turned to their families who were present inside the court room throughout the proceedings.

Private Gordon Pickard, 35 of Zabbar was accused of perverting the course of justice.

Lawyer Franco Debono who appeared for Cuschieri claimed that the murder charge imposed on his client was excessive, and distorted the fact that all three accused had families and had gone out for a normal day's work.

His colleague, Edward Gatt who appeared for Mark Anthony Dimech argued that the police had slapped such a heavy charge on his client to "satisfy media's thirts", while lawyer Mark Busuttil said that his client Gordon Pickard did absolutely nothing, except for being in the Detention Van.

Prosecutor Inspector Keith Arnoud responded to the lawyer's claims explaining that the police were "nobody's puppets" adding that investigators had spent some 17 hours on the case and never looked at what the media said.

 

 

 

 

Michael Fenech
I thought that these things only happened during the 80's!!!!!!!!!!!!! What's up Gonz????? Like Franco Debono accused you, we are back to the 80's in all sense of the word!!!!!Let's see what will be the outcome of this so called 'independent' inquiry! We already had other 'independent' inquiries, where the Police force always was cleared of all the stains!!!! (For now)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
GRACE PAVIA
Malta has lost its way. It has been led up the garden path and astray by 25 years of binge consumerism fuelled by EFA's & GONZI's outdated, conservative, old hard-line catholic and clichéd socialist policies. These policies were craftily camouflaged by the battle cries "vote for change" & "a new way". Moreover, this fiasco happened mostly for the benefit of covert manipulators with deep corruptible pockets and their hangers on, leaving behind a huge financial mess for our sons and grandsons to mop up. It is high time that real change happens,and produces a better future.
GRACE PAVIA
Malta has lost its way. It has been led up the garden path and astray by 25 years of binge consumerism fuelled by EFA's & GONZI's outdated, conservative, old hard-line catholic and clichéd socialist policies. These policies were craftily camouflaged by the battle cries "vote for change" & "a new way". Moreover, this fiasco happened mostly for the benefit of covert manipulators with deep corruptible pockets and their hangers on, leaving behind a huge financial mess for our sons and grandsons to mop up. It is high time that real change happens,and produces a better future.
Il Googol
This is a very delicate situation. it's the Army against the police force. The least said the better.
Matrix
Ejja qabel nibdew nattakaw l-Armata u l-Pulizija ta'pajjizna li fl-ahhar mill-ahhar huma hutna Maltin,niftakru li kienu l-istess Armata li salvaw il-tant nies minn fuq il-bahar.L-emmigrazzjoni illegali hi problema li holoqilna haddiehor u qieghdin nitwikkaw biha il-poplu Malti kollu, biss l'anqas jista jkun f'dan il-pajjiz nibqghu li ghax int immigrant illegali tahseb li tista taghmel li trid u kif xihadd jieqaflek tibda mill-ewwel taghhjat razismu.Xorta nikkundana vjolenza zejda tigi min fejn tigi.
Jessica Smith
I certainly do not agree with any violence, but why do we not hear any condemnation when the illegal immigrants attack our security forces, throw boiling water, urine, human excrement, bleach etc on our security forces? Are the soldiers going to be made the sacrificial lambs just to satisfy the UNHCR and the other traitors of Malta and the Maltese poeple?
tony sultana
What is going on ,so much bizarre stories happening lately in Malta,something is missing, what the hell it is?
Joe Borg
The state media reported this as 3 persons previously this afternoon. The unusual choice of words to avoid mentioning that it was either police or soldiers was shamefully obvious and I immediately noticed. Comes down to what we already know in this country - be it soldiers or police, they are a gang on thugs owing loyalty to their political masters and totaling failing the country they serve. Go ahead and let them wear tattoos - it only fits them. I saw a police officer holding a booked titled Mein Kampf - were else can you go from here ?
audrey zammit
It's so sad :( :( Mela madoffi, x'xeba tawh biex qatluh?? Ghamel x'ghamel, ma nahsibx li kellhom ghalfejn issawtuh b'dak il-mod. Il-vjolenza kerha wisq :(
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