The Malta Independent 21 September 2018, Friday

Teenager accused of attempted murder of police officer ‘used drugs aged 9’, court told

Tuesday, 11 September 2018, 13:02 Last update: about 10 days ago

Liam Debono started using drugs at age 9, a court has heard.

Magistrate Joe Mifsud, presiding the compilation of evidence against Debono who is accused of running over and nearly killing a policeman, heard Inspector Malcolm Bondin testify.

Debono had been stopped by RIU after he was spotted performing suspicious maneuvers, Bondin said and what police suspected to be drugs were found in his car. He had admitted that the substance was cannabis grass and that it was his. “He would smoke 3-4g every day…since age 9 as his mother would give it to him to keep him quiet.”

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Magistrate Mifsud was told about a previous arrest where Debono had threatened a policeman who had stopped him for riding a bicycle that had no brakes or pedals.

Lawyer Amadeus Cachia requested bail, pointing out that all witnesses have now testified. “There is definitely no chance of tampering with evidence, neither is there chance of escape from Malta.”

“Not only is Liam Debono presumed innocent, but just because he is charged with several offences it doesn’t mean they’re going to stay the same. Several times we have seen persons charged with homicide being downgraded to other offences. Lets say the AG feels that it should be an involuntary grievous injury charge instead of involuntary homicide …the punishment is far lower than the present charges.”

Decrying what he called “this crusade against Liam Debono” Cachia said things had been started from a presumption of guilt.

“I think this is the only case where we have a protest about an accused being attended unfortunately by the President. He noted that the President herself is being held civilly responsible for the Paqpaqli incident, a case with similar injuries.”

But Magistrate Mifsud did not agree with this argument, saying that had he not been prohibited by ethics, he would have gone “shoulder to shoulder with the President.” 

“He is facing 40 years in prison,” said the magistrate. “Five months in Mtahleb - he’s not being mistreated.”

 

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