Two men cleared of charges after a fight with a group of bouncers

Two men from Syria cleared of causing over €2,500 worth of damage in Paceville due to lack of evidence

Two young men from Syria were cleared of causing over €2,500 worth of damage to public property during a fight with a group of bouncers in Paceville in the summer of 2020, due to lack of evidence.

Bashar Sheikh Ahmad Antar, 22 and Yusef Sheh Ahmad Khaled, 31, were also acquitted of breaching the public peace and being drunk and unable to take care of themselves in a public place.

The fight had taken place during the early hours of 1 August, 2020, when a nightclub bouncer saw a Syrian man smash a glass on the floor of the club and went to eject him from the premises. The court was told that Antar had gone over to the bouncer and tried to convince him not to throw the man out, but the bouncers took no heed and evicted the entire group from the premises.

Angry at their treatment, the group of Syrian men subsequently threw several drinking glasses at the establishment’s facade. In Court, a police constable testified to having seen a big commotion in front of the club and had spoken to some of the individuals involved in the disturbance. The men he spoke to had told him that a bouncer had kicked them out because one of them had dropped a glass on the floor. He testified to having seen a number of drinking glasses hurtling towards the facade but had not seen who had thrown them.

The officer testified to having spoken to the bouncer, who had explained that Sheikh Abdul had not dropped the glass, but had kicked it. The court was told that Khaled had been arrested because he had returned to the door of the club, making offensive gestures and insulting the persons inside, even after the police had dispersed the crowd.

The bouncer testified, telling the court that at around 4am a police sergeant had ordered him to turn off the music. Upon entering the club, he said, he had seen a man smashing a glass on the floor right next to a girl’s foot. He said that as soon as he went up to the man to throw him out, Ahmad Anter had approached him to prevent them from going outside. The bouncer said that he had taken both men outside, at which point bottles had started raining down on him.

There were too many people involved to allow him to identify them, he said, explaining that Khaled had obstructed them but Ahmad Antar had not given them any trouble. Joseph Rivan, a bouncer at a next-door club testified that he had called the police. He, too, confirmed that although the accused had been present, he had not seen him do anything.

In its decision to acquit the accused, in addition to its doubts regarding the video’s authenticity, the Court also pointed out that none of the witnesses had identified the accused as having thrown the bottles and had said that although they had been at the scene, they had not seen the defendant doing anything.

Lawyers Arthur Azzopardi and Jacob Magri represented the defendant.