Liam Debono's mother, sister refuse to testify as compilation proceedings continue

PC Simon Schembri suffered over 66% disability when Liam Debono ran over him back in May

PC Simon Schembri suffered disability of over 66%, the court hearing evidence against the driver, who ran him over and dragged him for several metres, has heard today.

Compilation proceedings against Liam Debono continued today before magistrate Joe Mifsud.

Orthopaedic Surgeon Ray Gatt testified first, telling the court that he had examined Schembri and established a disability of 66% on the orthopaedic front only.

Medical Administrator at MDH Lina Janulova on behalf of the Superintendent of Public Health exhibited a file as thick as two telephone directories: Schembri’s medical file relating to the incident.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Stephen Mallia took the stand next, telling magistrate Mifsud how he had arrived at the scene of the arrest to find Debono handcuffed. “I told him do you know you ran over a traffic policeman. He said ‘Yes.’”

The youth had told him the car was his mother’s and that the plates were garaged. But Mallia didn’t spend much time near the accused, shifting instead to the scene of the original accident. Traffic police had already seen some CCTV of the incident and had shown this to the Assistant Commissioner when he arrived. The scene of the crime had been well preserved, he said.

Police Sergeant Oliver Vella from the traffic division testified today. He had been at the Floriana Depot when the call came in. Vella drove to the Luqa industrial estate and found Schembri near the exit of the industrial estate. “He was face up on the ground, his arm…” he trailed off. “I didn’t know if he was alive or dead. I didn’t recognise him, I only knew it was Simon because they told me.”

Vella heard over radio that they had apprehended a suspect in ta’ Kandja. He drove there and found the Mercedes leaking oil and the accused standing handcuffed near the vehicle.

A constable from the Luqa police station who was also at the scene told the court that he had seen the victim on the ground.
“I saw a person on the ground, face up with his helmet on. He was unrecognizable from his uniform.”

Liam Debono’s Mother Charlotte Zammit and his sister Cheryl Anne Debono, both from Tarxien took the stand today. They both told the court that they were choosing not to testify, a privilege granted by the law to parents and siblings of a person accused.

The compilation of evidence continues.

Inspectors PierGuido Saliba, Fabian Fleri and Chantelle Casha prosecuted. Lawyers Franco Debono and Amadeus Cachia were defence counsel. Lawyer Arthur Azzopardi appeared parte civile for PC Schembri.

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