Updated - Accused of prison cell fire, court hears of threats against warders
David Norbert Schembri, a prisoner serving a life term, was accused in court today of having set fire to his prison cell.
Schembri was jailed in 2009 on conviction for the murder of his former girlfriend, Josette Grech, who was stabbed 47 times.
The alleged arson took place in April.
Police Inspector Spiridione Zammit said prison officers noticed smoke coming out of his cell and raised the alarm. The bed was on fire, and several items in the cell were destroyed.
Damage was estimated at €226.
He said that on the following day, April 12, two warders reported that they had been threatened by Schembri. He told them that the incident the previous day was just the beginning and it was 'going to be big'.
He also told warder David Abela to tell warder Godwin Agius that he had scores to settle with him. The threat was made after Agius allegedly tore a pair of shorts belonging to the prisoner and ripped a pair of his shoes.
Schembri was taken to Mt Carmel Hospital for a few days.
Inspector Zammit said that when he tried to speak to the prisoner, he was very sarcastic and did not want to speak to him. At one point he stood up aggressively and the special response team had to intervene and pull him away.
Taking the witness stand, warder Godwin Agius said that during searches made in the cell after the incident, the warders found a glass full of human waste. Asked what he was going to do with this, Schembri said he intended to throw it at the face of a warder.
He had also put sperm in a small container and had said he intended to add acid to it and then throw it at a warder.
In one of his threats, the prisoner also told warder David Abela that he would never hurt himself and if he was ever to hurt somebody it would be one of the warders.
The case was put off for November 21.