Pasqualino Cefai threatened with contempt of court after demanding lawyers’ presence

Pasqualino Cefai told magistrate and police that his brothers would make them pay, inspector tells court.

A magistrate threatened to fine Pasqualino Cefai for contempt of court after he continued remonstrating and demanding that he be represented by his lawyers, a court heard today.

The remark was made this morning by police inspector Dennis Theuma during the compilation of evidence against 39-year-old Pasqualino Cefai, who is currently being remanded in custody after pleading not guilty to attempting to assault a magistrate and five other police officials on 2 October.

The incident occurred at about 11:30am, when Cefai – who is currently a seven-year jail term for stabbing another man in a Gozo courtroom - allegedly lost his temper during a separate court case in Hall 7.

Taking the witness stand, inspector Dennis Theuma explained that on the day, Cefai had lost his temper and started shouting profanities and insults at the magistrate.

“He then approached the magistrate’s bench before threatening police officers. He accused Magistrate Hayman and Inspector Johan Fenech of leaving him in dire straits and promised that they would pay.”

“He said that if he does not manage to do so, his brothers will make sure that the inspector and the magistrate would pay,” the inspector said.

Cross-examined by defence lawyer Edward Gatt, Inspector Theuma confirmed in court that on the day there had been many ongoing sittings, a bone of contention for the defence lawyers. Cefai’s lawyers are insisting that the incident could have easily been avoided had the magistrate acceded to Cefai’s request for his defence lawyers to be present.

Asked whether Cefai was threatened with a fine for demanding his lawyers' presence, the inspector answered in the affirmative, but notwithstanding this, he insisted that Cefai's "continuous" remonstrating and shouting was ultimately the main reason.

Inspector Daryl Borg prosecuted, while lawyers Edward Gatt and Noel Bianco represented the accused.

The case continues.