Commotion in court as man remanded in custody refuses to go to prison

Police officers had to drag the man, kicking and screaming, to the police lockup

(File Photo)
(File Photo)

A man who was remanded in custody over his involvement in a violent argument caused a commotion in court on Friday and needed to be dragged out of the courtroom as he was refusing to go to prison.

The accused, Ibrahim Mohammad, a 20-year-old Syrian man was accused of slightly injuring a Libyan national after an argument. The was also charged with two counts of criminal damage, breaching bail conditions, a suspended sentence and a probation order.

Magistrate Charmaine Galea looked on as the man, who became more belligerent as the sitting progressed, refused the assistance of an interpreter only to have to concede to using one, once it became apparent to him that he could not understand what was happening. He also refused to be assisted by a lawyer.

Inspector Roderick Agius told the court that the police had also filed separate proceedings against the other party in the fight, by summons, but that Mohammad had to be arrested because of his recidivism.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges.

“I want to go back to my country!” Mohammad shouted several times. “I’m not going to prison, I’m going to stay with my mother!” he insisted.

But the Inspector explained to the court that the man had previously fallen out with his family and that they didn’t want him to live with them. “He is effectively homeless,” said inspector Agius.

He pointed out that the accused had been in Malta for four years, during which time he had notched up several convictions and had been released on bail a few months ago. “There is a strong chance that the accused would commit the same crimes again if he is released,” he said.

By that point, the accused, loudly protesting his innocence, had to be handcuffed as he was becoming increasingly restless.

“Now you’ll see how I’ll stay in prison for you!” the accused menaced. “When I was beaten up by my father and uncles I went to the police at Hal Qormi. My uncle said he doesn’t care what happens to me, because he has money. I want to go back to my country!”

Over the din the accused was making, the magistrate tried to explain that he would not be going back just yet in view of the charges against him.

Escorting police officers had to drag Mohammad, kicking and screaming, to the police lockup.