After running over Pelin, Jeremie Camilleri told police: ‘Where is TVM? I want to be famous’

One hour before the incident, he sent his girlfriend a voice message saying that he was a ‘psychopath’ and ‘a proud criminal’, telling her that the next day he would be on the news

Jeremie Camilleri (left) was charged with wilful homicide of Pelin Kaya (top right) after running her over in Gżira with his black BMW that also smashed into a KFC restaurant
Jeremie Camilleri (left) was charged with wilful homicide of Pelin Kaya (top right) after running her over in Gżira with his black BMW that also smashed into a KFC restaurant

The man accused of killing a young woman by intentionally running her over in the street asked where the TVM cameras were and described himself as a psychopath during his arrest.

“Where is TVM? I want to be famous,” were the words of Jeremie Camilleri to the police officers arresting him. Camilleri is accused of the murder of Kaya Pelin whom he mowed down in his mother’s BMW X6 in Gzira on 18 January - the day of Pelin’s 30th birthday.

Several police officers gave evidence this morning, as the compilation of evidence against Camilleri started before Magistrate Rachel Montebello.

They described arriving at a scene of “complete chaos,” finding the BMW lodged in the facade of the Gzira KFC outlet, debris and rubble strewn all over the area.

They described the accused’s demeanour as aggressive, adding that he was shouting “watch me fight the police,” to onlookers. Although officers instructed him to calm down, Camilleri had to be subdued with a taser. Even after his arrest, he continued to threaten officers, telling them he would “find them.”

Police Homicide Squad Inspector Kurt Zahra told the court that CCTV had captured the incident in full. The footage shows Camilleri crossing the road after running the woman over, picking up debris and broken bricks and throwing them at the victim as she was face down on the ground. He is also seen punching and throwing debris at bystanders, one of whom then punches back and knocks Camilleri to the ground.

CCTV cameras from the surrounding areas showed that Camilleri’s car had not been travelling at great speed before the incident, Zahra said.

13:39 That concludes today’s sitting. Thanks for following. Karl Azzopardi
13:39 The large group is exiting the court building. Karl Azzopardi
13:36 The atmosphere is one of crushing sadness. Karl Azzopardi
13:33 As Camilleri is led out of the courtroom, a female family member tells him "burn in hell." A male relative is gripped tightly by family members to stop him from attacking the accused. Pelin's mother then faints. Karl Azzopardi
13:29 The court says that if the inquiry is concluded before the next sitting, it can be exhibited. The case was adjourned to 9 Feb at 11:15am. Karl Azzopardi
13:28 The prosecution is discussing whether or not it should summon further eyewitnesses or exhibit the acts of the magisterial inquiry. Karl Azzopardi
13:27 Abela says that no bail request would be made at this stage. Karl Azzopardi
13:26 10 minutes after his arrest, the accused continued to act strangely, confirmed the witness. Inspector Kurt Zahra informs the court that the officer was the final witness for today. Karl Azzopardi
13:25 Defence lawyer Alfred Abela cross-examines the witness. He asks what language the letter of rights read to the accused was in. "I don't remember." Karl Azzopardi
13:24 A crowd of bystanders had gathered, he said. They were agitated by what they had seen. District police officers were speaking to them.. "They were visibly panicked." Karl Azzopardi
13:23 "While waiting for the ambulance, Camilleri was asking where TVM were because he wanted to be famous. He also told me that his teeth were very sharp. While we were inside the ambulance, he told me that he was memorising my face so he could come find me after." Karl Azzopardi
13:20 Another RIU police officer takes the stand - the sergeant in charge. Karl Azzopardi
13:18 "It's not normal for a person to approach me shouting 'watch me fight the police'. He entered my personal space, less than a metre away." Karl Azzopardi
13:18 To protests from the prosecution bench, Abela asked the witness again, repeatedly using the words 'not normal' in his questions. Ghaznavi asks the witness what he means by "not normal." Karl Azzopardi
13:16 Cross-examined by Alfred Abela, the witness is asked about the accused's behaviour, telling him that the previous witness had said he wasn't normal. "I saw a very aggressive person who wanted to hurt people." Karl Azzopardi
13:15 When Camilleri said 'let me fight the police' the witness had still been in the police car, he said. The RIU SUV, he clarifies. Karl Azzopardi
13:14 Under cross-examination by Ghaznavi, the officer says that when the accused had entered his personal space, he had told him to relax. Karl Azzopardi
13:13 Bonnett asks about the bystanders. "It seems that before he was arrested, he had attacked some of them," he said. Karl Azzopardi
13:12 He explains that the police had to take down the suspect first as he was a threat, before turning their attention to the victim. "Even though I knew she was probably dead, I did everything I could to help her." Karl Azzopardi
13:10 The accused told the officer that he had consumed cocaine and marijuana, when asked whether he was under the influence. The officers informed the accused of his rights and he was taken to Mater Dei Hospital. Karl Azzopardi
13:10 "When he was on the ground he started shouting 'where is TVM? I want to be famous." Camilleri also shouted "I'm a psychopath and I'm proud of it," recalled the officer. Karl Azzopardi
13:09 After being handcuffed, the accused had told the police that he had been driving the BMW that crashed into the KFC restaurant. "He told us that the BMW PSG was his and started going on about 'PSG, PSG'." Karl Azzopardi
13:08 “When he came within striking distance, he pulled his arm back and balled a fist, telling us 'come, come'. I had to use the taser gun to carry out the arrest. That was the minimal amount of force we could use." Karl Azzopardi
13:08 “I gave him the order to calm down, I told him "ey, relax", but he kept coming forward. I gave him the order, shouting 'on your knees', but he did not comply.” Karl Azzopardi
13:07 "As soon as I stopped the car he started walking towards us, opening his arms and inviting us to fight." Watch me fight the police' and telling us 'come, come'." Karl Azzopardi
13:06 The police had received a description that the accused was dressed in black. "He started openeing his hands and saying 'watch me fight the police'. I clearly remember that the place was like seeing a field full of sheep, wherever he [Camilleri] moved, the crowd moved away as a group." Karl Azzopardi
13:04 The officer testifies to having been told by one of the fearful bystanders to "be careful" (mohhkhom hemm) as the man was aggressive. He remembers seeing a lot of bystanders. Karl Azzopardi
13:02 The next witness takes the stand. He is an RIU officer. Karl Azzopardi
13:01 "He was acting very abnormally. A normal person does not behave that way." Karl Azzopardi
13:01 The witness is cross-examined by defence lawyer Alfred Abela. “What did you see before the accused was arrested?” Karl Azzopardi
13:01 "We didn't ask him any questions, he started talking on his own." Karl Azzopardi
13:00 Asked by Ghaznavi what the accused's words were. "Where are TVM zobbi u nejk, I want to be famous." Those were his precise words, said the officer. Karl Azzopardi
13:00 The court asks the witness how he had addressed the accused. "I addressed him by name. I told him his rights, and my sergeant also read him his rights after me.” Karl Azzopardi
12:59 Bonnett asks him about the tasering: "We told him [to calm down] several times. Once, twice, three times, he carried on showing off until he was tasered. Even after being handcuffed he continued to threaten us, telling us that he'd come and find us. I wanted him to calm down so we didn't have to restrain him. He came very close.” Karl Azzopardi
12:58 "Everyone was afraid of him... bricks everywhere.... I told my colleague in the car to be careful about the debris," he says. Karl Azzopardi
12:54 "The ambulance crew tried tried tried, but it was for nothing. It appeared that she had already left us," he said, fighting back tears. There bystanders were afraid of the accused, telling the police that he had assaulted them, he recalled. Answering a question from the court he said the man had only seen Camilleri acting aggressively towards the police. Karl Azzopardi
12:52 The victim's face was covered in blood, "I didn't even know if it was a man or a woman at first." Karl Azzopardi
12:51 "He threatened us,” saying 'I will find you when I get out,' "where is TVM, zobbi u nejk", boasting that he had just killed a person and would be famous." Karl Azzopardi
12:50 The witness's voice breaks with emotion as he describes trying to help the ambulance crew. "But it was for nothing," he said after composing himself. Karl Azzopardi
12:50 "I know that the car was a BMW and the numberplate started with PSG, because the accused was repeatedly shouting 'Paris San German'. He wanted to fight us, but we acted professionally and took him into custody." Karl Azzopardi
12:48 Camilleri was telling bystanders "watch me fight the police" he said. While taking a boxing stance. He was then tasered and taken into custody. Karl Azzopardi
12:47 "When we were on the way we were informed by control room that there was likely a fatality and that someone was throwing bricks." The scene was "complete chaos" ("kjass shih") he said. Karl Azzopardi
12:47 An RIU officer takes the stand next. He is asked what his involvement in the incident was. "We received a call from the control room about a MVA at KFC near Paul and Rocco.” Karl Azzopardi
12:46 Witnesses told the police that the accused was uttering those words as he was throwing stones at Pelin as she lay unconscious on the ground. Karl Azzopardi
12:46 "The accused was acting aggressively and was swearing at them and the victim, telling her 'fuck you'." Karl Azzopardi
12:45 Lawyer Shazoo Ghaznavi cross-examines the inspector. He asks about the pelting with stones. Where did that emerge from? "It emerges from eyewitnesses who testified in the inquiry as well as from CCTV footage which shows him doing so." Karl Azzopardi
12:45 The victim and the suspect were coming from different places when they encountered each other. The only place where the two interacted was when Camilleri ran Pelin over, killing her. Karl Azzopardi
12:40 The best friend accompanied Pelin back home after her birthday party. Karl Azzopardi
12:40 The victim's best friend told the inspector that as far as she was aware, Pelin did not know him. Karl Azzopardi
12:39 Inspector Zahra had inquired whether the victim had any relationship with the accused. Karl Azzopardi
12:39 "I showed him footage from KFC, which shows the victim, face down on the ground unconscious and the accused enters the frame fighting with bystanders before starting to throw stones at her," the inspector says. Camilleri did not answer questions about this. Karl Azzopardi
12:38 Camilleri's mother was questioned by the police. She chose not to answer many of the questions, said the inspector, but she confirmed that the BMW was used by the accused. Camilleri asked for lawyer Alfred Abela, who was present for his interrogation together with lawyer Rene Darmanin. Karl Azzopardi
12:36 The inspector tells the court that Camilleri's mobile phone was retrieved from his home in Lija. Karl Azzopardi
12:35 With that certificate in hand, the police could begin questioning the suspect, he said. Camilleri was questioned at police HQ and then taken to his residence to be present for the police search. Karl Azzopardi
12:34 The accused had been taken to Mater Dei Hospital and at 11:45am had been certified as being fit for interrogation. Karl Azzopardi
12:33 "As soon as he was arrested, he says the same thing that he had said to his girlfriend." Camilleri had erased the voice note, but the investigators had succeeded in retrieving it. Karl Azzopardi
12:32 Bodycam footage from the arresting police officers showed him asking them to bring TVM onsite, the inspector says. Karl Azzopardi
12:31 Camilleri had met with his girlfriend before the incident and had an argument. One hour before the incident, he had sent her a voice message saying that he was a "psychopath" and "a proud criminal" and telling her that the next day he will be on the news. Karl Azzopardi
12:30 When Camilleri was admitted to hospital, he made certain assertions that were of interest, says the inspector. "Jeremy Camilleri told the doctor that he wanted to hurt someone" Karl Azzopardi
12:30 Magistrate Nadine Lia carried out the magisterial inquiry, and authorised the police to communicate with the experts who participated in the inquiry. Karl Azzopardi
12:28 The accused wears a weary expression as the interpreter translates what is being said. Karl Azzopardi
12:27 His BMW is registered to Camilleri's mother. The speeding fines were settled by her shortly after being issued. Karl Azzopardi
12:26 He is then captured on the Birkirkara bypass speed camera. He was doing 75.8km/hr in a 60km/hr zone says the inspector. Other cameras in Gzira and in Msida also captured him driving at a moderate speed. Karl Azzopardi
12:26 Besides gathering the CCTV footage, the police went to Camilleri's residence in Lija. CCTV footage from there was also seized. He is seen leaving around eight minutes before the murder. Karl Azzopardi
12:25 When this happened, Camilleri is seen cross the road again, pick up rocks, both big and small and start throwing them at the victim and the bystanders. One of the bystanders is seen to be hit in the back, the inspector says. Karl Azzopardi
12:24 "Subsequently we see Jeremy Camilleri, the accused, exit this BMW and attacking bystanders." Camilleri crossed the road after getting out of the car to attack the bystanders. One of the pedestrians punched Camilleri back and knocked him to the ground. Karl Azzopardi
12:22 The inspector explains the layout of the surrounding streets. Pelin was walking from Triq l-Imsida towards Sliema. "While she was on the pavement... we see the BMW change direction and run Kaya Pelin over and smash into other things." Karl Azzopardi
12:21 The police gathered CCTV footage from nearby shops and noticed that around 1:05am Camilleri's BMW was captured travelling towards Testaferrata Street from Sliema. "The speed seemed moderate. The road is straight." Karl Azzopardi
12:21 When the police arrived, Camilleri did not comply with their orders and had to be tazered. Karl Azzopardi
12:19 The witnesses told us that Camilleri was swearing at the victim and when the RIU and paramedics arrived he started shouting: "Watch me fight the police". Karl Azzopardi
12:17 The inspector says that all of the witnesses he mentioned had given sworn accounts to the inquiring magistrates, some also filmed the accused, as he pelted Pelin Kaya, face down on the ground, with stones. Karl Azzopardi
12:15 A third eyewitness, a female, was also dealt a blow to her head by the accused. She later filed a report at the Msida police station. Karl Azzopardi
12:15 Another eyewitness who works in a nearby shop had also been assaulted by the accused and knocked out. When he regained consciousness, he closed the shutter and went to the health centre for treatment. Karl Azzopardi
12:14 The inspector appeals to the court to order the press not to publish the names of the individuals being named. Karl Azzopardi
12:13 A driver who was going to fill his petrol tank at the Paul and Rocco station, told the police that he had seen the BMW crash into the KFC. He hadn't noticed anyone getting run over, but said that the BMW driver had tried to assault him as he sat in his car, damaging it. Karl Azzopardi
12:11 While he was on the way to meet her, he met the first responders who had blocked off the road. He told them that his girlfriend was not answering her phone. He was asked to call her again and the mobile phone that was on the ground beside the victim had started to ring, the inspector said. Karl Azzopardi
12:09 Police spoke to eyewitnesses. Kaya was subsequently identified by her boyfriend, who had arrived in Malta just hours before to celebrate her birthday with her. Karl Azzopardi
12:09 The jacket and other items indicated the place where the victim had been thrown by the impact. Karl Azzopardi
12:08 He noticed a jacket, mobile phone and packet of cigarettes lying in the road. "These were important because they later turned out to belong to the victim." Karl Azzopardi
12:07 Scene of Crime Officers arrived and photographed the scene as evidence. Karl Azzopardi
12:07 Zahra: "I realised that everything that everything had taken place in Triq l-Imsida [not Testaferrata].” He also noticed sneakers which belonged to the victim, who was still unidentified at the time. Karl Azzopardi
12:06 At the scene: "I observed a BMW X6 that had its front portion inside KFC. Some of the vehicle was on the railing. Glass and rubble displaced by the crash were next to it." Karl Azzopardi
12:05 Emergency responders had informed him that the woman was unconscious and in danger of dying. The driver was arrested by the Rapid Intervention Unit. Karl Azzopardi
12:04 Zahra says he had been informed of a traffic incident in Testaferrata Street at around 1:05am on 18 Jan, which left a woman in danger of death. The initial report stated that the driver had also emerged from the vehicle and thrown stones and the victim and bystanders. Karl Azzopardi
12:02 Police Inspector Kurt Zahra from the Homicide Squad takes the stand. Karl Azzopardi
12:02 The family's right to an interpreter emerges from the Victims of Crime Act. Karl Azzopardi
12:01 The interpreter is administered the oath. Karl Azzopardi
12:00 The court asks whether the parte civile require an interpreter. Ghaznavi says they do. Karl Azzopardi
12:00 He explains that he understands Maltese, but doesn't speak it. The court dictates a note appointing an interpreter. Karl Azzopardi
12:00 The court asks the accused whether he understands English. "Perfectly," he says. Karl Azzopardi
11:59 During the arraignment, the accused was assisted by an interpreter. Karl Azzopardi
11:59 The court is tackling the issue of what language proceedings should be in. The accused understands only fragments of Maltese, defence lawyer Alfred Abela says. Karl Azzopardi
11:59 Lawyer Shazoo Ghaznavi is appearing for the victim's family, together with Charlon Gouder and Ramona Attard. Karl Azzopardi
11:50 Magistrate Rachel Montebello enters the courtroom and the sitting begins. Karl Azzopardi
11:49 The numbers inside the courtroom have been reduced, only the seated members of the public remain. Karl Azzopardi
11:46 There are around 30 people present, and members of the public are standing two rows deep. Court staff attempt to thin out the crowd by ejecting members who are not dressed appropriately. Karl Azzopardi
11:45 The small courtroom is packed tight with the victim's family and friends. They are wearing small photographs of Pelin pinned to their lapels. Karl Azzopardi
11:45 Good morning and welcome to our live-blog. Our court reporter Matthew Agius is inside the court room following today’s proceedings. Karl Azzopardi