Man charged over stabbing at St Helen's feast

Man charged with feast stabbing is released on bail

(File photo)
(File photo)

A man from Qormi has been charged with grievously injuring a man with a knife during a feast in Birkirkara.

Butcher Cranston Portelli, 30, of Qormi was charged with allegedly stabbing another man in the hand, during a fight at the feast of St Helen in Birkirkara, on Sunday.

Portelli was arraigned before magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech this afternoon by police Inspector Andrew Agius and charged with grievous bodily harm, carrying a weapon during the commission of an offence, carrying a knife in public without a licence, uttering insults and threats and breaching the peace.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and his lawyer, Mario Mifsud, requested bail.

Inspector Agius objected due to the nature of the injuries suffered by the alleged victim and because of the fact that there were witnesses who were yet to testify. “There was public violence. There are people who know the victim who are yet to testify,” said the inspector.

Mifsud, however, informed the court that the incident was captured on video in its entirety. The area was well covered by CCTV and this had already been collected in the magisterial inquiry, explained the lawyer.

The man and his victim did not know each other and lived in different towns. 

Mifsud showed the court Facebook posts which the alleged victim had posted since the incident on Sunday, in which the injured man boasted of being “an iron man,”  "I never die...God is great...body of iron...only can stop me with weapons...pussies," reads one post.

“He’s strong enough to come to testify at the next sitting,” Mifsud remarked.

The court noted that the man had apparently sufficiently recovered to be posting selfies on Facebook and doubting that his attitude towards testifying would change in the meantime.

Portelli was released on bail against a €7,000 deposit and a €3,000 personal guarantee, and ordered to sign a bail book daily. 

He was ordered to observea curfew and is prohibited from approaching any prosecution witnesses and from going to Birkirkara, Msida and Gzira. 

The court also issued a Protection Order in favour of the alleged victim.