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Republic Street brawl between alleged arsonist and murder suspect recounted in court

'Are you going to burn me too?'

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

An alleged arsonist approached the man whose home he is accused of setting alight and told him “you haven’t got away with it yet”, a court heard on Friday.

Aaron Cassar, 37 and from Birżebbuġa, stands accused of having injured Deniro Magri in a fight last January on Valletta’s Republic Street.

Mr Magri, who fractured his ankle in the scuffle, faces separate charges of having shot dead 25-year-old Sylvester Farrugia in Marsa in February 2017, after the latter tried to burn down Mr Magri’s home with Mr Cassar’s alleged help.
Mr Magri is pleading self-defence to the murder charges.

A court heard on Friday that last January 8 Mr Magri was in Valletta, shopping with his girlfriend and his sister. As he waited for his family, he saw a man walking towards him, he told magistrate Audrey Demicoli.

“I recognised him as Aaron Cassar. I carried on walking but he came towards me and said something under his breath,” he testified.

“We exchanged words about my door being burned down. He said ‘you haven’t got away with it yet.’

“I said ‘what? Are you going to burn me too?’”

The argument ended up as a physical fight and the two men had to be separated by passers-by. Mr Magri was subsequently take to hospital with a fractured ankle.

Mr Magri said he spent six weeks in bed as a result of the fight and still suffered complications due to the injury.

Defence lawyer Rene Darmanin reserved the right for cross-examination. The court was shown stills from CCTV footage of the fight.

The case continues in January.

Lawyer Gianluca Caruana Curran is assisting Magri, whilst lawyers Arthur Azzopardi and Rene Darmanin appeared for the accused. Inspector Keith Arnaud is prosecuting.

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