The Malta Independent 16 May 2022, Monday

Lead suspect in Sliema murder claimed he was taken over by the devil

Monday, 3 January 2022, 15:53 Last update: about 5 months ago

Police had to stop interrogating Abner Aquilina in connection with the murder of Paulina Dembska after he began to claim that the devil had taken over his mind at the time of the attack.

Aquilina – a 20-year-old from Zejtun – is the lead suspect in the investigation in the murder of Polish woman Paulina Dembska, who was found dead in Independence Gardens in Sliema early on Sunday morning.


According to multiple reports, Aquilina told police over the course of investigations that he was “doing God’s work” but that the devil had entered his thoughts at the time of the attack.

Dembska was found with head and chest injuries, and sexual assault and rape have not been excluded from investigations either.

Police said on Monday in a statement that they had to stop their interrogation of the main suspect and refer him to Mount Carmel Hospital for evaluation.

Times of Malta quoted police sources saying that they do not need to interrogate Aquilina to decide whether or not to charge him with the murder.

Lovin Malta meanwhile said that Aquilina had a long history of mental illness, and that police sources had said that Aquilina told them that he had been receiving “orders from frequencies” in the weeks leading up to the murder.

Dembska was living in a hostel in Sliema and was in Malta as a student, police said on Monday. 

She had posted glowing reviews about Malta on her social media profile, and was also an advocate in favour of women's rights against domestic and sexual abuse.  She also frequently fed the cat colony which lived in the same gardens where she was found murdered.

Not much is known about Aquilina, meanwhile.  His social media profile has not been updated in almost six years.

A vigil in Dembksa’s memory has been planned for Tuesday evening at 6pm.

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