Man who claims he is 'Gaddafi relative' tries to escape from police in courtroom

Accused had previously pretended to throw a grenade at the French Embassy in Malta and broken a police officer's finger

A bid to obtain a French passport by a man who claims to be a descendant of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi ended with him being remanded in custody after he pretended to throw a grenade at the French Embassy on Friday.

The man also broke a police officer’s finger and then tried to escape from the courtroom when he appeared in front of Magistrate Yana Micallef Stafrace on Monday morning.

Aimen Mohamed Abdallah Ali, 38, told police he is related to the former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and is understood to be a medical doctor. He was charged after violently resisting attempts by the female police officer who was on guard outside the French Embassy to arrest him.

Inspector Priscilla Caruana Lee told the magistrate that Ali had, on a number of occasions over a span of several days, behaved erratically and pretended to throw grenades at the French Embassy in Melita Street, Valletta.

Sources involved in the investigation explained that the man wanted a French passport. When the police officer on duty outside the embassy ordered the man to halt on Friday, he attacked her and broke her finger, before running off. He was apprehended by police a short distance away.

Ali is accused of violently resisting arrest, threatening and grievously injuring a police officer, disobeying her orders, refusing to give his details, breaching the peace and living an idle and vagrant life.

As the sitting was about to begin today, the accused tried to escape from the courtroom, flinging aside two police officers who had been standing next to him, before barrelling into a police inspector who happened to be outside. A number of plainclothes police officers then tackled the accused to the ground and scuffled with the man, who had to be subdued by force after resisting the police with considerable violence.

He apologised to the court as he was being led back in in handcuffs - which stayed on for the duration of the sitting - after his escape was thwarted.

In view of his behaviour, the court ordered the man to be psychiatrically evaluated.

The court said his comportment did not allow it to accept any guilty plea. Bail was also ruled out.

After discussions about where the man would be held, a joint request by the prosecution and defence saw the man detained at the forensic unit at Mount Carmel Hospital.

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