Libya Tribune

By Matthew Agius

The parents of a Libyan youth have filed proceedings against the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Police, claiming that officers at the St Julian’s Police Station kicked the 17-year-old, while holding his head down with a boot.

The parents of a Libyan youth who appeared in court today on charges of violently resisting the police, have filed separate proceedings alleging that police officers beat their son up before their very eyes outside the police station.

The youth, the son of a local engineer and a medical doctor and who is enrolled in an international school in Malta, appeared in court this morning with a swollen, bloodshot left eye and what appeared to be a broken nose.

Inspector Matthew Spagnol told duty magistrate Antonio Micallef Trigona that the youth, who is not being named on the orders of the court, was arrested after a fight broke out in a club in Paceville during the early hours of 1 January.

After being released into the custody of his father at around 3:30am, however, police say the two started arguing amongst themselves outside the police station, with the son shouting that his things were still inside the station.

Inspector Spagnol explained that a scuffle ensued when personnel from the station went outside to intervene “and two officers were slightly injured.”

The youth was charged with insulting, resisting and slightly injuring police officers and disobeying their lawful orders.

Judicial protest alleges police brutality
But in a judicial protest filed this morning by lawyers Jason Azzopardi and Julian Farrugia against the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Police, it is being claimed that officers at the St Julian’s Police Station kicked the 17-year-old, while holding his head down with a boot.

The judicial protest accuses the police of sergeant on duty at the time of the youth’s arrest of asking the youth whether he was “with Gaddafi” or not and slapping him four times when he replied that he wasn’t fully up to speed with regards the situation in Libya. The protest goes on to also allege that after his ID card and passport were taken, the boy’s wallet was thrown away in front of him.

After allegedly spending a night in a cold cell, wearing just a shirt as his coat had been seized, the parents of the accused had gone to collect him from the police station, but the young man refused to leave before his wallet and coat were returned.

A scuffle ensued outside the police station, the protest reads, with one policeman allegedly holding his head down with a boot whilst other officers kicked him.

Magistrate Micallef Trigona listened to the prosecution’s and defence’s version of events but said that the court could only deal with the charges against the accused at this stage.

Inspector Spagnol told the court that the man had no criminal record, but had told police that he didn’t recognise their authority.
The court granted the accused bail against a personal guarantee of €1,000, ordering the accused, who is from Swieqi, not to go to Paceville or the St Julian’s police station for the duration of the case. 

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Court reporter Matthew Agius is a Legal Procurator and Commissioner for Oaths. Prior to reading Law at the University of Malta, Matthew served in the British Army.

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