Former Gaddafi militant charged with robbing singer at knifepoint

A Libyan who robbed singer and musician Mikaela Attard at knifepoint has been remanded in custody after being charged with theft aggravated by violence • Perpetrator has history of violent crime

Singer and musician Mikaela Attard, who was robbed at knifepoint
Singer and musician Mikaela Attard, who was robbed at knifepoint

A Libyan man charged with robbing musician Mikaela Attard and a female companion at knifepoint was remanded in custody by Magistrate Anthony Vella on Wednesday morning.

Munir Mohamed Ali Gammudi from Tripoli, 37, was charged with theft aggravated by violence, time and value of the stolen object. He was also accused of carrying a knife during the commission of a crime against the person and relapsing.

Gammudi is accused of robbing Attard and her friend in St Julians on Sunday night. In an emotional Facebook post, Attard described how she had been attacked whilst waiting for friends to emerge from an entertainment establishment in Paceville.

"The next thing I know, a man who was accompanied by another man, abruptly pulled out a sharp jack knife and pressed it around my neck… A sharp jack knife… With his other hand pulling my handbag at the same time… He was pulling my bag and pressing his knife more and more with increasing anger and strength, shouting at us in the Libyan language," Attard wrote.

After stealing their handbags, the men ran off and the girls gave chase, at which point Gammudi allegedly tried to stab Attard in the stomach.

Attard wrote on her Facebook wall: "He attempted to murder me… He was aiming at my stomach but thankfully he missed every time because I was wearing a big puffy coat, otherwise we would have been probably dead by now."

Security staff at a nearby club heard the girls' cries and tackled the attacker, holding him down until the police arrived.

His accomplice is still understood to be on the run.

Gammudi, a former Gaddafi militant who has a history of violent crime, had been jailed for three years for threatening three people at knifepoint in March 2016.

As he was arraigned by Inspector Nikolai Sant this morning, Gammudi tapped his head saying he was "crazy".

He had briefly escaped police custody and was recaptured and is being held under constant watch. It is understood that the man is being treated for mental illness.

Defence lawyer Noel Bartolo asked for bail, but this was objected to by the prosecution, who pointed out that the accused had only been released from prison in December and was not trustworthy. There were also a number of witnesses yet to testify, Sant said.

Bartolo asked that if bail was going to be denied, that the man be held at the forensic ward at Mount Carmel Hospital.

The magistrate denied bail and upheld the defence’s recommendation that he be detained at the hospital.

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