Fugitive that led police on six-hour manhunt, charged with attempted murder

Aidan Bartolo charged with attempt to cause serious injury, causing injury to police officers amongst others

Aidan Bartolo
Aidan Bartolo

Aidan Bartolo ‘id-Dons’, the man arrested after a six-hour long manhunt, following a hit-and-run and shootout with the police in Mellieħa on Thursday, was charged with attempted murder on Saturday.

The 24-year-old from Ħal-Għaxaq was charged with attempt to cause serious injury, causing injury to police officers, driving dangerously, not obeying police orders, and of being a recidivist.

Bartolo pleaded not guilty, and a request for bail was turned down by Magistrate Lara Lanfranco. She explained this was on grounds that the court had doubts on the accused’s will to follow the bail conditions.

The prosecution revisited Thursday’s events, where the police followed the accused in a car towards Mellieħa. The accused then abandoned the car and disappeared into the woodlands of Miżieb.

This led to the six-hour long manhunt, with the police eventually arresting the accused, after finding him hiding in the bushes.

The defence argued that the charges brought forward were false, claiming the accusations were “disproportionate”, since it argued the officers suffered minor injuries and the accused wanted to escape from the officers, not kill them.

It added that Bartolo was hit three times with a firearm in the leg, from the same shot.

The prosecution stated that the accused drove the car in the direction of the officers and they would have been hit if they had not stepped aside. It also said that the police’s investigations were ongoing, with 16 civilians still required to testify.

The prosecution argued that the police are still to conclude their investigations and that 16 civilians need to testify.

The accused has a record and was sent to prison in 2017 and 2020, on drug possession and theft charges.

Lawyers Franco Debono and Francesca Zarb appeared for the accused.