Pelin Kaya murder: Jeremie Camilleri crash caused over €51,000 worth of damage

Court hears extent of damage Jeremie Camilleri caused to petrol station and KFC outlet on the night he killed Pelin Kaya by driving headlong into her

Jeremie Camilleri and the BMW he was driving on the fatal night when he killed Pelin Kaya
Jeremie Camilleri and the BMW he was driving on the fatal night when he killed Pelin Kaya

Jeremie Camilleri’s reckless driving not only caused the death of Pelin Kaya but also more than €51,000 worth of damage to private property, a court heard today.

Magistrate Rachel Montebello heard several witnesses testify on Monday, as the compilation of evidence against Camilleri continued.

Amongst the first witnesses to testify was a representative from LESA, who told the court that on 22 January, some three days after Camilleri mowed down Kaya, the defendant’s mother had settled a speeding fine incurred by the same BMW X5.

Camilleri is being charged, among others, with the wilful homicide of Kaya in January, the same evening she had celebrated her 30th birthday. Kaya, a Turkish national who had been working in Malta for around a year, was walking to her home when Camilleri crashed his car into her before smashing into the Gżira KFC outlet.

Amongst the other witnesses who testified today were the General Manager of Food Chain Ltd, the company which operates KFC restaurants in Malta, who told the court that a total of €37,012 were spent repairing the damage caused when the car driven by Camilleri smashed into the Gzira KFC outlet. The crash smashed furniture and the glass shopfront, as well as causing a loss of income while repairs were carried out.

The large shopfront window was made of tempered glass, said the witness, replying to a question from parte civile lawyer Shazoo Ghaznavi.

Also, testifying today was a representative from the Paul and Rocco petrol station, which had also been extensively damaged by Camilleri’s BMW.

The car had damaged three filling points as well as brickwork, the court was told. “He hit us first, then crashed into KFC,” the witness explained.

The damaged pumps, which had only just been refurbished at the time, needed to be replaced and excavations had to be carried out to inspect for any damage to the underground tanks. The total bill for the repairs came to €14,219, he said, exhibiting two invoices to the court.

Ghaznavi asked Buhagiar who would have had access to the petrol station’s CCTV footage before it was handed to the police. The witness replied that the police had gone straight to the owners’ home and had collected the footage from them. “We did not touch anything,” he said.

Mariella Aquilina, the petrol station’s owner testified next, confirming that the police had visited her home at 3am on the morning of the incident. She had then accompanied the police officers to her office to hand over the footage.

Another witness, Fiona Brincat, who had failed to appear when summonsed for the last sitting, did not appear for today’s session either, despite being notified. The court found her in contempt and ordered her to be accompanied by the police to the next sitting, in May.

Lawyers Kayleigh Bonnett and Nathaniel Falzon from the Attorney General’s office are prosecuting, together with Police Inspector Kurt Zahra.

Lawyers Rene’ Darmanin and Alfred Abela are defence counsel.

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