The Malta Independent 20 September 2019, Friday

Updated: Man who assaulted PD candidate gets conditional discharge

Tuesday, 23 April 2019, 13:57 Last update: about 6 months ago

A man who assaulted PD local council candidate Charles Polidano has been conditionally discharged and ordered to stay away from the politician.

Jack Azzopardi, 32, from Qrendi was arraigned under arrest before magistrate Audrey Demicoli this morning, accused of threatening and slightly injuring Polidano (photo above), as well as causing damage to his car and breaching the peace.

Inspector Trevor Micallef told the court that Azzopardi had assaulted Polidano after the latter had contacted the man’s mother asking her to sign an endorsement of his candidature.

The woman, who does not know how to read or write, had signed the form on Saturday. After that, Polidano claims, Azzopardi had called him “countless times,” heaping verbal abuse and threats upon the politician.

Polidano said things came to a head on Monday when the attacker approached him outside his home. He said that the man had physically assaulted him, leaving him with bruises on his shoulders, before pushing Polidano as he tried to get inside his car, closing the car door on his legs.

The car had also sustained some €538 worth of damage during the assault, Inspector Micallef said.

Lawyer Nicolette Schembri, appearing as defence counsel for Azzopardi, argued that he had reacted that way because his mother is a vulnerable person. He had encountered Polidano on the street and argued with him because he had allegedly portrayed himself as a PL candidate to the woman, she said.

Azzopardi pleaded guilty to the charges and was handed a 2-year conditional discharge after both parties agreed that this would be the ideal punishment. A 2-year protection order in favour of Polidano was also issued. He was given 6 months to pay for the damage.    

Polidano's statement

Polidano, in a statement later in the day, said: "First of all the accused was arraigned in court this morning and I was not even invited to be present parte civile. Secondly, I was not asked to stand as a witness. As a matter of fact it was her husband (the accused's father) who asked his mother to support my nomination. His father, especially as someone very close to me (a reliable friend) was fully aware of the complete context of my nomination can confirm that it was known that I was contesting with PD. I challenge the assailant to withdraw his statement as I am considering pursuing charges of libel."

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