Pelin Kaya murder: Witnesses say Jeremie Camilleri was aggressive to police, hospital staff

The compilation of evidence against Jeremie Camilleri continued on Monday as witnesses say he racially abused hospital staff after murdering Pelin Kaya

Jeremie Camilleri, pictured above, is charged with the wilful homicide of Pelin Kaya
Jeremie Camilleri, pictured above, is charged with the wilful homicide of Pelin Kaya

Witnesses have described Jeremie Camilleri, the man accused of the murder of Pelin Kaya, as being “constantly aggressive,” adding that he had racially abused hospital staff who were treating him.

Camilleri is pleading not guilty to charges which include wilful homicide after running over the young Turkish woman in his mother’s BMW X6 in Gzira on 18 January - the day of Pelin’s 30th birthday.

The compilation of evidence against Camilleri continued before Magistrate Rachel Montebello on Monday.

One of the RIU police officers who had arrived at the scene of the fatal crash said that the accused was already in handcuffs, being treated by ambulance staff. Camilleri was suspected of being under the influence of drugs, he said.

Asked about the defendant’s demeanour, the officer said he was “aggressive, constantly trying to to stand up and attack everybody”.

“Upon arriving at the scene, I was informed that a woman was being treated by a doctor, but at that time we had not been updated on her health. We knew she was in danger of death and that she was unlikely to live long enough to arrive in hospital.”

The accused was constantly aggressive, said the witness. “He wanted to undo his handcuffs and fight us.”

Camilleri was subsequently tasered, recalled the witness, adding that Camilleri had also threatened the police, telling the officers that he would remember their faces and seek them out.

Although the witness had been informed by his colleagues that Camilleri had been throwing stones at bystanders, he had not seen this himself. However, Camilleri himself told the officer that he had also thrown stones at the victim.

Cross-examined by defence lawyer Alfred Abela, he said that the defendant’s agitated behaviour had persisted long after his arrest.

“When we arrived at the hospital he had been very hysterical, challenging and insulting doctors. This had persisted in the emergency room, for a period of time.”

One of the nurses had also been subjected to racial abuse, but had opted not to press charges, he added.

Another police witness, from the Criminal Investigation Department, recounted how he had been informed of a fatal road incident, at 2:50 am on January 18, and had arrived at the scene shortly after. Both the victim and the accused had already been transferred to hospital by the time he arrived.

He had then gone to Mater Dei Hospital at 3:30am to try and speak to the defendant, with  doctors present. “I won’t talk to you,” (“lilek ma nkellmekx”) Camilleri replied, refusing to converse further.

Together with a doctor, the officer had also broke the tragic news to Pelin’s boyfriend, telling him that she had succumbed to her injuries. “He had just arrived in Malta from Istanbul to celebrate Pelin’s birthday with her,” recalled the officer.

The boyfriend did not speak fluent English and had given the police the number of one of Pelin’s best friends, who could interpret for him. When the police called her up, she told them that Pelin had been excited to spend her birthday with her boyfriend.

Lawyer Shazoo Ghaznavi, one of the lawyers representing the victim’s family, cross-examined the witness, asking what else the defendant had done in hospital. 

“When I got there he was on a stretcher in the emergency department, being examined by staff. I identified myself as a CID police officer. He told me nothing… the only words he told me were ‘jiena lilek ma nkellmekx’.

During Monday’s sitting, a Transport Malta representative confirmed that the BMW X5 which the defendant had been driving was registered to his mother.

A LESA representative also testified to exhibit a photo taken by a speed camera on the Birkirkara to Msida bypass, during the early hours of January 19. The related speeding ticket and information about the speed the vehicle had been travelling was not available to her, she said.

The case was adjourned to April.

Lawyer Kayleigh Bonnett from the Attorney General’s office and Police Inspector Kurt Zahra are prosecuting.

Lawyer Alfred Abela is defence counsel.

Lawyer Shazoo Ghaznavi is appearing for the victim's family, together with lawyers Charlon Gouder and Ramona Attard.