Former fugitive Psaila, 36, of Sta Venera was hit by 55 shotgun pellets during the attempted hold-up on a jeweller in Attard on December 3, a court was told this morning.

The court also heard how he phoned a friend and sought assistance to try to escape (from Malta) before eventually deciding to turn himself him to the police.

Psaila faces a series of 30 charges including the attempted murder of PC Kenneth Ciangura and PC Kurt Gauci on June 30 during his alleged participation in the attempted hold-up of the HSBC depot in Qormi and attempting to steal more than €2,300 from jeweller Michael Mizzi in Attard on December 3.

Other charges include the theft of a gun from a police constable, holding a police constable and two other people against their will, committing a crime using a weapon, damaging a number of police cars during the attempted hold up, being in possession of a weapon without a licence, firing a weapon in a inhabited area, stealing cars and making a false declaration.

Inspector Anthony Portelli, CID, told the court how he had gone to the scene of the hold-up on the jeweller and found one of the robbers, Darren Debono, on the ground after having been shot.

He was told by the jeweller a hooded man had approached him, demanding his suitcase. He resisted and was hit on the head with an iron bar.

The jeweller’s son, Silvio, had been approached by another two hooded men, one of whom dropped a shotgun, which he grabbed. As the robbers ran he pulled the trigger.

Nothing happened at first as this was a pump action shotgun, but he then managed to fire a number of shots.

Mr Mizzi had confirmed that the person who had hit his father was Darren Debono.

The police had questioned a number of persons known to be close to Darren Debono and later launched a search for Fabio Psaila.

PC 99 had informed the police that former inspector David Gatt was seeking a doctor for Fabio Psaila, who was injured.

The police questioned Jean Claude Dalli, a friend of Fabio Psaila, who confirmed that Psaila had called him for help to escape. He did not know where he was.

Several searches in a number of localities were made and phone and bank records were checked after a magistrate issued a warrant. Psaila had two BoV accounts, and hte last transactions on one of them were made on December 1.

On December 26, at around 7 p.m. Psaila turned himself in but refused to give information to the police and refused to be assisted by a lawyer. Asked where he had been hiding, he said, ‘in the moon’.

Dr Mario Scerri carried out a physical examination and found that Psaila had been hit with 55 shotgun pellets of which , 34 were in his right arm, 11 on his right side, 7 in the left leg and three in the chest, one so close to the liver that it could have been fatal.

Earlier in today’s hearing, the court was also told how the getaway car used in the Attard jeweller’s hold-up was stolen the previous August. The number plate was of another car reported stolen in October.

The shotgun was registered on Mario Axiaq, a gun negotiator, who said he had the gun for seven years and then sold it to a man he knew only as Dennis. He gave two telephone numbers.

The numbers belonged to a man of Gharghur and his wife but this man denied ever having bought the gun.

Axiaq was also unable to identify this man as having bought the gun.

Legal action was instituted against Mr Axiaq for not following proper gun transfer procedure.

The court was also told that Psaila had refused to reply to questions on the HSBC hold-up at the end of June.

A picture was presented of Darren Debono and Fabio Psaila entering a clinic after the former was alleged shot during the attempted HSBC hold-up.

Evidence was later given by PC99 Mario Portelli who said he knew Psaila through former Inspector David Gatt.

PC Portelli recalled that after the attempted hold-up on the HSBC Centre, Gatt had been depressed and described himself as the most unlucky man. He had said that he had been planning the hold-up for six months and it had failed because of the Mobile Squad. He said he had lost €6 million and the hold-up would have also been reported on Euro news.

PC Portelli told the court that when Fabio Psaila was arrested after the HSBC attempted hold-up, he had also discussed with him how he had entered a police cell fully clothed but came out without clothes.

Psaila had told him that he had tore his clothes with his teeth and flushed them. He had done this because the investigating inspector had shown him a video of the crime and noted that he, Psaila was wearing the same clothes. The inspector had wanted those clothes.

Following the Attard hold-up, PC99 said that Gatt had asked him if he knew a doctor who could treat Psaila clandestinely. At this time, PC99 had already told his superiors all his knew all his contact with Gatt was following their approval.

The case continues.

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