Fugitive denies abortion allegations, but admits punching pregnant woman

The Libyan fugitive who allegedly attempted to perform an abortion on his partner in a Swieqi home has denied the accusations, but told a Libyan newspaper that he “punched” the woman in the stomach

Ashref Ammar Marghami allegedly attempted to perform an abortion on his Moroccan partner with a knife
Ashref Ammar Marghami allegedly attempted to perform an abortion on his Moroccan partner with a knife

The man who fled Malta after allegedly attempting to perform an abortion on his partner in Swieqi two weeks ago has told a Libyan newspaper that he “punched” the pregnant woman in the stomach during a row, but denied trying to perform an abortion.

Ashref Ammar Marghami allegedly attempted to perform an abortion on his Moroccan partner with a knife, which he doused in gin and set alight to sterilise.

However, in comments to Libyan newspaper The Observatory, the fugitive said that upon hearing that the woman was pregnant with his child, he proposed to her. 

But the charmless Marghami added that the woman – whom he described as “a witch who steals children” – refused to marry him. 

“She told me that she wanted to go to France to give birth to the child there and obtain permission to live in France,” he said, adding that the woman’s visa to stay in Malta was about to expire. 

Marghami, who is believed to be in hiding in Europe after having escaped the country, told the newspaper that he wanted to marry the woman because he did not want the child to be illegitimate or brought up without a father. 

The man said that the woman has three nationalities, Moroccan, Syrian and Libyan and also alleged that she ran a brothel in Swieqi.

He also alleged that the woman has three children from three different men and that the she had eloped to Tunisia with the three children before coming to Malta. 

The incident during which the alleged abortion would have been attempted, happened on Sunday 2 April, and initial reports said that the woman’s 16-year-old daughter disrupted the crime after finding her mother in the bathroom with her legs and wrists bound with duct tape.

The man escaped before the police arrived on the scene, and Europol is assisting in the manhunt after an international European Arrest Warrant was issued for his capture.

While denying the accusations of attempting a forced abortion, the man admitted to having a heated argument with the woman.

“I quarrelled with her and the argument between us intensified. I got upset and nervous. I hit her several times in the stomach. She lost consciousness and started bleeding. I was scared and tied her to the bed,” he told The Observatory.

The woman – who suffered a miscarriage a few days after the incident – alleged that she was attacked in the bedroom by Marghami and three other men who she said were masked. In an interview with the Malta Independent, the woman named two of the other aggressors as Tarek and Imad, who she said were Marghami’s friends. The woman did not identify the fourth man.

But Marghami said he was alone when the incident happened and claimed that his friends are innocent. 

“They lived with me in the same house and I confirm that they have absolutely nothing to do with the incident,” he said. 

“I admit that I did what I did alone… and since I am a Muslim who does not accept a forbidden child I take responsibility for what I did before God and my family and all the people.”