Pasqualino Cefai threatened to kill inspector’s family during courtroom rage, court hears

Gozitan Pasqualino Cefai had to be held back by six police officers during courtroom rage • court places accused under bill of indictment.

A convict serving time over a stabbing in a Gozo courtroom threatened to kill an inspector, his family, as well as a magistrate during a fit of rage, a court heard today.

Earlier this year, Gozitan Pasqualino Cefai, 34, of Zebbug, Gozo, was jailed for seven years after being found guilty of stabbing a man seeking repayment of a debt.

However, on October 2, Cefai landed in trouble again after he reportedly lost his temper and attacked Magistrate Miriam Hayman and several other police officers.

Moreover, Cefai had to be held back by six police officers but it was to no avail as he managed to struggle free of their grip before being dragged out of the courtroom.

The inspector explained that at this point Cefai lost his temper and started shouting profanities and insults.

 “He then stood up, approached the magistrate’s bench and started shouting profanities and insults. He was hysterical and furious, he took his jacket off and started banging against the wall and threatening pushing police officers and also threatened the magistrate,” the inspector said.

Moreover, at one point, the inspector said Cefai also threatened to kill him.

“I warned him to stay quiet down but he continued shouting. He threatened to find me and kill me and my family. He told me that even though he is in prison, his brothers would be able to find me,” Inspector Fenech said.

Corroborating Fenech’s testimony, Inspector Kevin Pulis said that Cefai was very aggressive, and that six police officers were not enough to hold him back.

“He pushed Inspector Johan Fenech, insulted the magistrate, and grabbed the shirt of other police officers who were trying to calm him down.”

“He became very aggressive and started to push me and PC Ryan Borg Ungaro. The police then managed to escort him out of the courtroom, but he resisted the handcuffs and continued to push the police officers,” the inspector said.

The inspector explained that despite calming down in the courtroom elevator, Cefai became aggressive and hit the police officer with his handcuffs.

“While downstairs he again called out Magistrate Miriam Hayman and Inspector Fenech and said that he will call his brother to take care of everything outside. He told me that no one is bigger than God and that it would not be hard to find them since Malta is small,” the inspector said.

Taking umbrage at the prosecution and the magistrate, Cefai’s defence, led by Edward Gatt and Noel Bianco, insisted that Magistrate Miriam Hayman should have never started the sitting without Cefai’s lawyers present.

“The magistrate had many sittings on the day, so the case could have easily been suspended until his lawyer arrived. When you unjustly saw that the sitting continued without his lawyer, didn’t you feel that you could suspend the sitting and do other cases?” Lawyer Edward Gatt quipped.

At this point, Inspector Johan Fenech rebutted the statement, saying that police had repeatedly called out Cefai’s lawyer but to no avail. Ultimately, he added, it was the magistrate who took the decision to start the sitting.

At the end of today’s sitting, Magistrate Audrey Demicoli ruled that there was enough prima facie evidence against Cefai and placed under a bill of indictment.

Lawyers Edward Gatt and Noel Bianco appeared for Cefai, while Inspector Daryl Borg prosecuted.

The case has been deferred until December 4.