The Malta Independent 22 February 2020, Saturday

Man gets one year in prison after assaulting police officers

Tuesday, 20 August 2019, 14:14 Last update: about 7 months ago

A man from Serbia who entered Malta with a false Slovenian passport and claimed to be French Foreign Legionnaire, has been jailed for a year after assaulting police officers.

Miljan Cvetkovic was accused of using a false passport, resisting arrest, slightly injuring a police constable and escaping from police custody whilst being escorted to Mater Dei Hospital.

Magistrate Charmaine Galea had heard the prosecution explain how Cvetkovic had been arrested in a hotel gym and taken away to be questioned over the suspicion that he had been using a fake passport.

As the man did not speak English, the police had requested the services of an interpreter but Cvetkovic had insisted on using another interpreter of his choosing.

Whilst being interrogated by prosecuting Inspector Frankie Sammut, Cvetkovic had attacked the inspector and asked to be examined by a psychiatrist. He was then taken to hospital for examination and had attempted to escape. Whilst he was being restrained he had injured a police constable.

The defence had argued that Cvetkovic had not been read his rights at the time of his arrest, but the court dismissed this argument, pointing out that this had happened because of language barriers and because taking him to hospital was a priority.

Neither did the court uphold the man’s argument that his real name was Boris Cakic and that therefore the charges were null. He had shown the court a number of photographs and documents showing that he was a serving soldier in the French Foreign Legion by the name of Boris Cakic.

The court said that the fact that he might be a foreign soldier did not exonerate him from responsibility for any crime that he might commit.

Cvetkovic was jailed for 1 year and fined €5,000, also being ordered to bear the costs of the case. A protection order was issued for the police inspector involved.

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