Updated | Nine immigrants denied bail after scuffle

The men, who all pleaded not guilty to the charges, were denied their request for bail, after the prosecution successfully argued that the witnesses that may be called to testify are residents of the detention centre in Hal-Safi

Safi barracks (File photo)
Safi barracks (File photo)

Nine of the ten men arrested last night after a scuffle broke out amongst the migrants living at Safi Barracks, were charged in court with causing damage to the detention centre and for taking part in a coordinated criminal offence.

The men were also charged with threatening police and detention centre officers at the Hal Safi detention centre. failing to obey orders, and disturbing the peace.

Tunisians Merwen Gbali, 27, Lotfi Ouedherfi, 57, Querfelli Mahdi, 26; were charged in court today along with the Eygtian, Mohamed El Shennwayh Sheri,51, Iraqi Hussaen Ahmed Hassan,25, Syrian Ahmed Odali Alali, 24, Moroccan Ibrahim El Ayachi, 26, and Libyan Zakaria Abidat, 29.

A tenth individual, Mohammed Ali, was unable to attend the sitting today as he was still at the clinic following yesterday’s incident.

The immigrants were arrested last night after a scuffle broke out amongst the migrants living at Safi Barracks.
Police from the Rapid Intervention Unit, Special Intervention Group and the Zurrieq police station were informed, at around 8pm, that their assistance was required at the migrants’ barracks in Kirkop.

They discovered a brawl taking place between a group of migrants, and also noted that some damage had been done to the barracks.

The men began causing a disturbance in their room after they felt they were continuously ignored by security guards and police officers at the detention centre.

The men barricaded the door with beds and heaters found in their residence.

One of the accused stood up in court and insisted to the magistrate that the group did not cause any form of damage or injury to officers who were present on the scene.

The ten irregular immigrants were placed under arrest and taken to the police headquarters for further investigation, at which point one of the migrants, a Palestinian national, allegedly disobeyed routine police orders for a body search and acted aggressively.
The Palestinian man was later taken to the Floriana health centre, were he was found to be suffering from serious injuries, since he required stitches for a wound behind his ear.
In being taken back to police headquarters, an inquiry on the incident the man was involved in was started by inquiring magistrate Grazio Mercieca. An internal investigation was also launched.
The men, who all pleaded not guilty to the charges, were denied their request for bail, after the prosecution successfully argued that the witnesses that may be called to testify are residents of the detention centre in Hal-Safi.

Helga Buttigieg Scicluna and Mario Buttigieg are the defence counsel. 

Magistrate Yana Micallef Stafrace presided over the court.

 

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