Hugo Chetcuti | Police analyse CCTV footage in search of contract-killer motive

Accused Bojan Cmelik is spotted in CCTV footage trying to hide his identity with a hat before stabbing Paceville businessman Hugo Chetcuti

Serbian national Bojan Cmelik was charged with the attempted murder of Hugo Chetcuti
Serbian national Bojan Cmelik was charged with the attempted murder of Hugo Chetcuti

Maltese police investigators have analysed CCTV footage from Friday’s attempted murder of the Paceville businessman Hugo Chetcuti, and are exploring the possibility that his Serbian aggressor was a contract killer.

Police sources described to MaltaToday that the accused, Bojan Cmelik, 35, was seen attempting to hide his face with a hat before stabbing Chetcuti. Cmelik had no fixed address in Malta.

“It is possible that this man was purposely sent to murder Chetcuti, on orders of someone else,” the source told this newspaper.

The source said that one of the witnesses to the attempted murder could have been Hugo Chetcuti's sister Cheryle, who runs one of his establishments.

Hugo Chetcuti
Hugo Chetcuti

Chetcuti was yesterday reported to be in stable condition after having had a surgical operation carried out on him following the stabbing on Friday evening, at around 10:30pm.

Chetcuti's brother Isaac said on Facebook that after a successful operation his brother was over the worst and slowly recovering. “He is in excellent hands and is surrounded by his family and friends. We would like to thank all of you for your concern and well wishes. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.”

MaltaToday was told that Chetcuti had reported to police investigators at Mater Dei Hospital that he was stabbed after hugging his aggressor.

Cmelik was arraigned before Magistrate Neville Camilleri on Saturday afternoon, accused of having stabbed Chetcuti – with the intent to kill him or put his life in manifest jeopardy – outside the Seafood And Cocktail establishment in Triq Santa Rita, Paceville.

Cmelik pleaded not guilty to the charges. His lawyer did not ask for bail.

Inspector Nicolai Sant prosecuted. Lawyer Ishmael Psaila was legal aid for the accused, and lawyers Sarah Mifsud and Joe Giglio appeared parte civile for the victim.

Cmelik was arrested in Sliema after a chase from Paceville. The police said the suspect was disobeying police orders as they were arresting him, and even assaulted them, slightly injuring them. A taser was used to aid in controlling and restraining him. He was taken to hospital to be treated for injuries he had sustained, and was later transferred to police headquarters for questioning.

Chetcuti owns a substantial portion of Paceville real estate with his hotel, clubs and restaurants which carry his signature ‘Hugo’s’ brand.


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