Accused in Marsa stabbing murder also tried to stab onlooker, court told

A witness recalled trying to get help from the Marsa police station, but finding it closed

Al Mahy Ezzo Saeed pleaded not guilty to the stabbing
Al Mahy Ezzo Saeed pleaded not guilty to the stabbing

The man accused of fatally stabbing Egyptian national Adri Mohammed in Marsa on July 25, had unsuccessfully tried to stab another man, who then put the attacker in an arm lock and disarmed him, a court has been told.

Magistrate Doreen Clarke presided as the compilation of evidence against Al Mahy Ezzo Saeed, a Sudanese national who is charged with the murder, continued on Monday.

“I remember the day was Sunday. I had gone to the African shop in Marsa to buy food,” the first witness, Mballa Abdulla Sesai from Sierra Leone, recalled in his testimony. 

“The incident occurred near Game Bar. I was 25 metres away when it happened. I saw the accused throwing the first punch, towards the deceased…After he threw a punch, the next incident I see, I see him raise his foot and pull out the knife. I realised something ugly was about to happen, so immediately I stopped,” said the witness, explaining that he had a military background which had helped him evaluate the situation.

He had shouted at the accused to stop, but the man did not comply and had then stabbed the victim in the back.

The second knife strike was in the victim’s upper chest, he said. “I saw the blood spill out… I dropped my shopping and pulled out my phone to call the police.”

Sesai then ran to get aid from the Marsa police station but found it closed. He rang the doorbell and was told that the Hamrun police station was the nearest open police station.

The witness then returned to the scene, just in time to see the victim, who was still on his feet at this point, collapse. “I told the attacker that he had to stay here until the police arrived. He refused, and then waved the knife at me. The second time he waved the knife at me, I took my shirt of and told him ‘you need to wait until the police arrive.’” 

The accused, however, refused to wait for the police and after the witness told him to stop the third time, had lunged at Sesai with the knife. The witness dodged the thrust and hit the accused hard, he said.

The assailant then ran away, with the witness and several others giving chase, catching up to him as he tried to climb over a fence. The witness had put the accused in an arm lock at which point Saeed had surrendered. “I said put the knife in the case, and he complied.”

Asked whether he recognised the accused in court, the witness said he did, but said he didn’t know his name.

The witness explained what had motivated his intervention. “How can you stab your own brother? We have the same race…that gave me the audacity to confront him,” he said.

A second eyewitness, Żabbar resident Abram Ambari Mohammed from Nigeria, told the court that he had gone to Marsa that evening to shop. “I see one of my brothers fighting with another one of my brothers. So I shout at them to stop.” At the request of the prosecution, the witness clarified that the men weren’t his relatives, but that members of his community referred to each other as brothers.

Ambari Mohammed said he had seen a man pull out a knife, identifying the accused as that man in court today. “He used the knife on his [the victim’s] back and I shouted, ‘leave my brother, stop what you’re doing.’”

Other people had also been present, he said. “We were trying to separate them to stop them fighting, afterwards, this one ran away. We called the ambulance for the one lying down trying to survive. Some minutes later, he came back and we told him ‘brother what have you done? We have to stop you for the police to come.’ Before we touch him, he pulled out the knife again and threatened us with it.” 

Vella asked the man what the victim had done after the altercation. “He was collapsing down, blood was coming out everywhere…it was the first time that I saw such a thing in my life.”

The case will continue in October.

Inspector Shawn Pawney prosecuted.

Lawyers Anthony Vella and Ramon Bonett Sladden are appearing on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General. 

Lawyer Jason Grima is defence counsel.