Uninsured drunk driver assaulted assistant police commissioner, court told

A motorist who allegedly panicked after being involved in a traffic accident whilst drunk driving an uninsured vehicle and then assaulted two policemen has been released on bail

A motorist who allegedly panicked after being involved in a traffic accident whilst drunk driving an uninsured vehicle and then assaulted two policemen – one of them Assistant Commissioner Alexander Gatt - has denied the related charges on Tuesday.

No details of the incident emerged as Birzebbugia resident Nicholas Obaseki, 31, from Nigeria was arraigned before duty magistrate Nadine Lia accused of a number of offences, including assaulting and slightly injuring the two police officers, reviling and threatening the officers, driving without a licence or insurance whilst intoxicated and breaching bail conditions.

Obaseki, assisted by lawyer Gianluca Caruana Curran, pleaded not guilty and requested bail. When the police had approached him, the accused had just been involved in an accident and was in a panicked state, having also suffered bruised ribs as a result of the collision, Caruana Curran explained.

Furthermore, the injuries he had caused were slight and the witnesses were all police officers, said the lawyer, ruling out any fears of the accused tampering with evidence.

Prosecuting police Inspector Roderick Attard objected to bail, citing the fact that Obaseki was also being charged with breaching bail as proof of the untrustworthiness of the accused. The nature of the injuries suffered by the officers was not a relevant consideration with respect to bail, he added.

Magistrate Lia, after having heard submissions and referring to the law, acceded to the request for bail and released the man from arrest against a deposit of €1,000 and a personal guarantee of €10,000. The court also ordered the man to sign a bail book weekly and observe a curfew.

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