Killed Malian ‘had bitten soldier first’
One of two soldiers charged with murdering a Malian immigrant hit the victim twice after being bitten while trying to restrain him, a police inspector testified yesterday.
This detail, which emerged when the officer was being cross-examined, effectively brought proceedings to a temporary halt.
Defence lawyer Joseph Giglio argued the witness who supposedly communicated such information to the police had failed to raise the matter when he testified.
Dr Giglio said that until the transcription of the evidence was done the case should be stopped and Magistrate Saviour Demicoli put off the case for September 20.
Police Inspector Anthony Cachia said detention officer Mark Cuschieri told him that he had overheard one of the accused, Sergeant Mark Anthony Dimech, 44, of Gżira, saying when victim Mamadou Kamara, 32, bit him, he hit him twice in retaliation.
According to Lance Bombardier Gordon Pickard, Gunner Clive Cuschieri, 29, of Paola, who also stands accused of murder, kicked the victim repeatedly very hard in the groin area and lower stomach.
Lance Bombardier Pickard, 35, from Żabbar, is pleading not guilty in separate proceedings to tampering with evidence in connection with the case.
Dr Giglio then asked the prosecuting officer why was the prosecution putting so much weight on the fact that when the victim needed urgent medical attention, he was taken by the accused to Paola health centre instead of the one at Floriana, which was the normal procedure.
The officer said that the accused realised that they had a serious situation on their hands because they had beaten him up and decided to take him to the closest health centre.
The case continues.