Police still tracing person who filmed Paceville's NYE brutal attack

Another bouncer accused of grievously injuring man in Paceville on New Year's Eve, released on bail

Police are still trying to trace the individuals who filmed a brutal assault on a man by a group of bouncers in Paceville on New Year’s Eve.

This emerged in court as the compilation of one of the bouncers, Riald Gragjevi, who is accused of grievously injuring the man continued before magistrate Kevan Azzopardi on Wednesday. 

At the end of today’s sitting, Gragjevi was released on bail, secured by a €2,000 deposit and a €13,000 guarantee, as well as a €15,000 third party guarantee offered by his employer. He was also ordered to sign a bail book three times a week.

Earlier today, prosecuting police Inspector Brian Xuereb exhibited footage of the incident, shot by two different sources, from two different angles. Both had been sent to LovinMalta, said the inspector, adding that the police were trying to get to who shot the film, but were still to establish communication with them.

The inspector confirmed that the person shown on the ground was Idriss Ahmed Adem. Footage from Havana showed it to be the same person, wearing the same clothes. 

The witness also confirmed the location shown on the video was the same as the place where he had found the man.

Inspector Xuereb said he had been tasked with gathering the names of security staff there but said that “information was scarce.” A person who identified themselves as a friend of Adem had told the police that the man had been attacked by bouncers, but Adem had not attempted to speak to the police after being released from hospital, he said.

Over 1000 people had been present in Paceville at midnight new years eve. “Idris was surrounded by people and the initial information we received was that he had been beaten up by security guards.”

Cross-examined by Gragjievi’s lawyer, Shazoo Ghaznavi, the Inspector said that he had sent an online message to Lovin Malta which hadn’t been answered, but confirmed that he had not physically gone to its offices.

This meant that he was unable to confirm whether or not the footage that was in the police’s possession had been edited.

Ghaznavi asked how the incident started and where he had received information about it.

The investigation had started after the footage was published, he said. “We also had a report filed by Riald at around 4am in which he said he was assaulted by persons unknown and that a broken bottle had been thrown at him.”

The police linked the footage and report of the assault, he said, adding that the person who threw the bottle turned out to be the same person eventually beaten up. 

He had seen Idris attempting to enter Havana just before midnight and being refused entry because he didn’t show ID. The man had argued with security staff, who then pushed him down the stairs to make space for other patrons. Idris had continued to argue with security, said the Inspector, before being hit in the face and leaving the scene.

CCTV showed how, after midnight, the man was seen returning to Havana carrying an empty glass bottle in the back pocket of his trousers. He tried to throw it at one of the security guards, but was stopped by Riald who gestured at him to go away. “He pushed idris backwards and Idris fell to the ground. He then got up and threw it [the bottle] at Riald’s face.”

It was clear that the bottle had been intended to hit Riald, but it could have missed, said the inspector in cross-examination. 

Answering a question from Ghaznavi, the inspector said that in his two and a half years at St Julians, he had not received any reports about the defendant. 

“I know him a little bit [as a result of the January 1 fight]. Usually unless a person causes incidents, I wouldn’t know them.”

The footage showed Riald attempting to dodge the flying bottle and covering his face. 

The inspector said that the throwing of the bottle was the trigger for the incident.

The court decreed that sufficient prima facie evidence had been exhibited to merit an indictment.

Magistrate Kevan Azzopardi noted the defendant’s bail application, filed on January 12 had been kept in abeyance by the court. After hearing submissions on bail, the court released the defendant from arrest.

Lawyers Shazoo Ghaznavi, Charlon Gouder and Jessica Formosa are defence counsel.

Lawyer Giuliana Magro Conti is also prosecuting on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General.