Man charged after violent incident at Hamrun police station

A man was granted bail after being accused of allegedly attacking and slightly injuring two police officers

A 42-year-old man who allegedly attacked police officers at the Ħamrun police station on 14 August has appeared in court on related charges.

Before magistrate Monica Vella this afternoon, Joseph Zammit of Msida, a refuse collector, pleaded not guilty to charges of attacking or resisting the police, insulting or threatening them, slightly injuring two officers in the line of duty, breaching bail, failing to obey legitimate orders, breaching the peace and relapsing.

Zammit pleaded not guilty. His lawyer, Roberto Montalto, requested bail.

Inspector Andy Rotin, prosecuting, objected to the request and pointed out that the man had a 40-page criminal record which included similar crimes in the past.

Zammit was last arrested in July after another violent incident, said the inspector, adding that there was also a civilian witness who is yet to testify, who could possibly be approached by the accused.

On his part, Montalto argued that the charges refer to an event which took place three weeks ago and that the accused had ample time to suborn the witness. “Since 14 August, that which the inspector said he feared, has not happened.”

Besides this, the man had since found work, and things seemed to indicate that he had adopted a better lifestyle, argued the lawyer. It would be unjust to presume him guilty of breaching bail when he had just been accused of the offence. If remanded in custody, he would lose his new job and be unable to maintain his family, Montalto said.

The inspector countered that the man had appeared to be under the influence of “substances” when he was arrested and was behaving very erratically.

Zammit was therefore referred to Mount Carmel Hospital, and once he was released from there, he was arraigned. “Otherwise, he would have been arraigned straight away,” said the inspector.

The court granted the accused bail against a deposit of €1,000 and a personal guarantee of €8,000 and issued protection orders for each of the officers allegedly attacked.

Zammit was also ordered to sign a bail book three times a week and observe a curfew.