The Filipino sailor who died in a pub brawl was kicked around like a ball by 10 people on the road, a man testified yesterday.

Michel Mifsud, whose father owns Cherries Bar in Birżebbuġa, where the fight took place, said he witnessed 44-year-old Perfecto Montalban being beaten up on the pavement outside the bar on Christmas Eve in 2000.

He was testifying in the trial by jury of Charles Demicoli who stands charged with Mr Montalban's murder after hitting him over the head with a bar stool.

Mr Mifsud said he received a call from Philip Vella to rush to the bar because a massive fight had broken out. When he arrived he saw 10 people kicking the sailor around like a ball outside the pub. When he walked into the bar, it was empty, so he turned around and walked out. He noticed the Filipino on the floor and propped him up against a wall. The police arrived moments later.

Mr Mifsud's brother, Joseph, who was working at the bar lending a helping hand because of the Christmas Eve rush, testified that the fight kicked off after Noel Falzon, known as Il-Ġgant (the giant), walked in drunk. An argument ensued after Mr Falzon had pushed a man onto the victim's table, where he sat with three friends, and a massive brawl occurred.

When questioned by members of the jury he said he recalled the accused hitting the victim but could not remember exactly where.

His former girlfriend, Mandy Ellul, who was also working at the bar, said she had seen the accused hit the victim on the left hand side of the head with a stool.

The case continues.

The head of the Prosecution Unit at the Attorney General's Office, lawyer Anthony Barbara prosecuted. Lawyers Gianella Caruana Galizia and Emmanuel Mallia appeared for the accused.

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