Man on bail for 2017 Marsa stabbing arrested again over aggravated cannabis possession

The man gave police the slip after being stopped for acting suspiciously by patrol officers

File photo
File photo

A man who was remanded in custody for marijuana possession earlier today had been on bail in connection with a 2017 attempted murder in Marsa.

Inspectors Sarah Kathleen Zerafa and Mark Cremona arraigned homeless Somali national Mustafa Ahmed Mohamed before magistrate Astrid May Grima on Monday.

The 34-year-old man, who told the court that he was unemployed, was accused of possession of cannabis in circumstances which indicated that it was not exclusively for his personal use on two occasions this month. He was further charged with recidivism, in view of his previous convictions.

The offences took place on 13 January in Marsa and on 22 January in Hamrun.

Inspector Zerafa explained that a regular community police patrol in Marsa had noticed a person acting suspiciously on Triq Dicembru 13 and had stopped him. The person was asked to open his bag, and had complied, the inspector said. However the officers noted that he had not opened a zipped internal compartment of the bag.

When the police asked him to open the compartment, the suspect decided to make a run for it, but while being chased by the police officers, his bag got caught on something and fell to the ground.

70 small sachets, containing 66.5g of a green substance resembling cannabis, were found in the abandoned bag.

Although the suspect had given the police the slip, his escape was only temporary, as bodycam footage of his face had been recorded.

He was later recognised as Mustafa Ahmed Mohamed, who had been accused of attempted murder in 2017  having allegedly stabbed a man multiple times at Xatt il-Mollijiet in Marsa. Three years later, Mohamed had been charged with a second knife attack in which a man was grievously injured, this time in Msida.

The suspect was detained while signing his bail book in connection with that case. Inspector Zerafa told the court that the police found 35 more sachets of cannabis on his person when he was taken into custody.

In court this morning, he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Lawyer Francesca Zarb, representing the accused as defence counsel, told the court that bail was not being requested at this stage.