Court clears man of assaulting brother-in-law

The court said it felt that the victim's version of events lacked credibility

A court has acquitted a man of injuring his brother-in-law in an argument after it emerged that he had been attacked.

28-year-old Christian Cardona had originally been charged with the attempted murder of his brother-in-law, on account of allegedly assaulting him with a knife and firing a handgun in the direction of his brother-in-law and his sister in Siggiewi in January 2013.

Cardona was also accused of breaching the peace, relapsing and carrying a knife in public without the necessary permit. He had consistently maintained his innocence throughout the proceedings. 

Cardona had gone to his mother's house, where a fight broke out between the accused and his brother-in-law, George Falzon. Inspector Roderick Zammit had testified to questioning Falzon as he was being treated for scratches and swelling in Mater Dei Hospital.

Falzon had claimed that the accused had first tried to stab him with a large knife he had stored under the seat and had then fired several shots at his car as he drove away. 

Falzon had told the court that the accused had intervened in an argument between Falzon and Cardona's father, swearing and banging his fists on the car window, whilst Falzon's infant child was still strapped in the back seat.

He said Cardona had retrieved a large knife, “almost a foot long” from a nearby garage and tried to stab him in the belly and neck, before nearly severing his finger.

Falzon had driven away but as he reached the end of the driveway, he had seen the accused pointing a black handgun at him and his wife. He claimed that seven shots were fired at his car, but that none of them had found their target.

But both Cardona's father and the accused had testified that it was Falzon who had been aggressive, started the argument and had then produced the knife.

The court said it felt that Falzon's version of events lacked credibility, noting that no spent cartridges were recovered, no bullet holes were found in the car or the intended target. Neither did the car have any dents compatible with Falzon's claim that Cardona had banged on the vehicle's bodywork.

The attempted homicide charge was withdrawn by the prosecution during the proceedings.

Magistrate Josette Demicoli said she found George Falzon's account hard to believe, and the accused's version of events was consistent with the injuries Falzon was certified as having suffered.

The court noted that it was the victim who started the argument and who also escalated it, saying it was also unable to find Cardona guilty of causing Falzon slight injury.

The accused was also cleared of being in possession of a knife, as it emerged in court that the victim had produced the knife. 

Lawyer Joe Giglio was defence counsel.

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