The Malta Independent 23 July 2019, Tuesday

Paceville death: Maltese youth did not fall to ground on being punched, collapsed minutes later

Rachel Attard and Helena Grech Wednesday, 14 March 2018, 09:55 Last update: about 2 years ago

Zack Meli did not fall to the ground when he was punched during an altercation in Paceville, sources told The Malta Independent, excluding the possibility that the 24-year-old died after hitting his head on the ground.

Meli died in Paceville, near Santa Rita steps, early on Sunday morning. Originally it was reported that he died after being attacked surrounded by foreign nationals and punched in the head. A Bulgarian teenager was arrested but was later released on police bail. The circumstances surrounding the Maltese man’s death remain unclear and an autopsy carried out on Monday was inconclusive and found no signs of violence.

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CCTV footage has confirmed that no fight took place. Sources said Meli was “acting strange” when he arrived in front of the eCabs office. At one point he approached the suspect, who was in the company of other persons.

Meli allegedly bumped into a member of the group and, because he was acting strange, was punched once. The victim did not fall to the ground. Instead he fell on another person. A few minutes later he collapsed to the ground.

Investigators are at a dilemma and are looking at CCTV footage whilst also speaking to eyewitnesses. It seems, the sources said, that the victim had consumed a considerable amount of alcohol. Toxicological tests are also being carried out although friends of the victim said Meli was not one to dabble with drugs.

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