An army sergeant accused of being involved in the killing a Malian man in the custody of Detention Services and Armed Forces of Malta personnel was described favourably in court by a former resident at the Safi detention centre, who said that he had saved his life.
The compilation of evidence against Sgt Mark Anthony Dimech, a 44-year-old Gżira resident and 29-year-old Gunner Clive Cuschieri, from Paola, continued today. The two men are accused of killing Mamadou Kamara, a 32-year-old Malian whose name is listed as Mohammad Abdalla in court documents, as well as of causing serious injuries and of tampering with evidence.
Mr Kamara had escaped detention in 2009, and had since then started working and had a child, but in 2012, doctors at the Floriana health centre reported him to the police when they realised that he was a fugitive. Mr Kamara made a fresh escape attempt on the night of 29 June 2012, and died shortly after he was recaptured.
The only witness in today’s sitting was Algerian national Avadi Madou, who was a resident at the Safi Barracks when the alleged murder took place.
He said that Mr Kamara was acting strangely and aggressively on his arrival to the Safi detention centre, stating that he had stolen food and items from other detainees and had also been involved in a fight.
The prosecution warned Mr Madou to only recount what he had seen when he went on to state that Mr Kamara was assessed to be of sound mind when he was taken to a health centre, and the witness went on to state that when Mr Kamara returned, he had calmed down considerably and started talking to fellow Malians.
At some point, Mr Madou said, Sgt Dimech intervened to calm down the situation and ensure that Mr Kamara would not be beaten up. He said that he himself told Sgt Dimech that he wanted to assault Mr Kamara but added that the sergeant rebuked him.
Mr Madou also recounted that Sgt Dimech had once saved his life, recounting that he had set a room within the detention centre on fire and that it was Sgt Dimech who rescued him afterwards.
Inspectors Keith Arnaud and Spiridione Zammit are prosecuting. Lawyer Joseph Giglio is appearing for Sgt Dimech, while lawyers Franco Debono and Rachel Tua are appearing for Gnr Cuschieri.