Updated | Altercation with police at Fight Island event costs Lilu King €10,000

Mohamed Ali Ahmed Elmushraty, known as Lilu King, has been ordered to forfeit €10,000 following a confrontation with police at Ta' Qali's Fight Island event

Screenshots from a video of the argument at the boxing match
Screenshots from a video of the argument at the boxing match

Updated at 12:21pm

Mohamed Ali Ahmed Elmushraty has been ordered to forfeit a total of €10,000 in fines and bail security after Friday’s Fight Island event at Ta’ Qali played host to an unplanned bout involving the Libyan boxer-turned-coach and police officers.

Drug trafficking suspect Elmushraty, better known as Lilu King, was arraigned on Monday in connection with an altercation he had with the police on Friday night at the Fight Island venue.

Police Inspectors Francesca Calleja and Joseph Mallia charged the man with breaching two sets of bail conditions, threatening police officers, disobeying their orders and breaching the peace.

At least two video clips of the incident had subsequently emerged on social media, showing Elmushraty arguing with police officers.

Elmushraty is currently out on bail on charges relating to involvement in an organised crime group with links to drug trafficking and money laundering.

One of his bail conditions is a curfew, requiring him to be at home between 9pm and 7am, but Elmushraty’s lawyers argued that he had been granted an extension to that curfew, which allowed him to remain outside from 9pm on Friday night until 2:30am the following morning.

During the arraignment on Monday, Superintendent Joseph Busuttill, Inspector Francesca Calleja and Inspector Joseph Mallia told Magistrate Kevan Azzopardi that on June 1, Elmushraty had been coaching one of his fighters at Ta Qali when a commotion broke out, following an argument between Elmushraty and a boxing promoter.

Three police officers had approached the defendant and told him to leave, but he refused to comply and had insulted the police officers.

Elmushraty was subsequently arrested at his residence in Zebbug the following day.

Inspector Mallia explained that Elmushraty had court authorisation to be outdoors outside of his curfew hours specifically for June 1, the date when the incident had occurred.

“According to the footage, the police approached him and told him to leave. They spent about half an hour [arguing]. A lot of people gathered and a commotion took place.”

The inspector explained that the defendant had been arrested on the strength of a warrant, 24 hours later, on 2 June, with the assistance of RIU officers.

During his arrest and afterwards, Elmushraty had been cooperative and apologetic, the inspector confirmed, in reply to questions in this regard from the defence bench.

Elmushratys' lawyers - Franco Debono, Jose Herrera and Adreana Zammit - told the court that their client would be pleading guilty, explaining that “he had no intention of breaching his bail conditions”.

“He fully cooperated with the authorities and showed remorse. He also apologised and admitted guilt at the first possible occasion,” submitted Debono, asking the court to take these factors into account.

The lawyer reminded that recent amendments to the law allowed the courts to seize only a portion of Elmushraty’s €80,000 and €9,500 bail guarantees.

The prosecution did not insist on Elmushraty’s re-arrest and agreed with the defence’s submissions that only a portion of his bail money be forfeited.

Elmushraty confirmed his guilty plea, when given time to reconsider.

The parties’ positions only diverged when it came to making submissions about the punishment - the prosecution insisted on a fine close to the €3,000 maximum, while the defence requested a minimal one.

Superintendent Joseph Busuttil suggested that a suspended sentence be imposed, rather than a fine. Debono did not object to this, but counter-suggested a conditional discharge, arguing that the two punishments were “almost identical”.

“The problem is the event,” observed Magistrate Kevan Azzopardi. “The hype during sporting events and his position as coach, means that a coach would have as much adrenaline as a participant.”

He told Elmushraty that he had to figure out how to control this aspect, as this incident could have had far worse consequences. “Yes magistrate,” replied the defendant.

In view of Elmushraty’s admission, the court found him guilty and imposed a fine of €4,000, together with the partial confiscation of €5,000 from his bail deposit in one case and another €1,000 out of his bail deposit in another case.

The court refused to allow 12 months for Elmushraty to deposit his bail money, granting him 6 months to do so, instead.

Before letting Elmushraty leave the courtroom, the magistrate reminded him of what was at stake. “You could have lost your bail entirely….Don’t lose yourself while coaching sporting events.”