The Malta Independent 17 August 2022, Wednesday

WATCH: Paulina Dembska murder – What we know so far

Neil Camilleri Tuesday, 4 January 2022, 13:19 Last update: about 8 months ago

The murder of Polish national Paulina Dembska on Sunday morning has shocked the nation.

This is what is known so far about the case.

Dembska was found dead in Independence Garden in Sliema at around 6:20 am on 2 January.


The suspect, 20-year-old Abner Aquilina was arrested a short while later after he entered the Balluta church and caused a commotion.

The police said on Monday that the interrogation was suspended and that the suspect was referred to Mount Carmel Hospital.

It emerged later that Aquilina told investigators that he had been “taken over by the Devil” at the time of the murder.

Claims that Aquilina had tried to kill a second woman were dismissed by police sources. 

It was also claimed that the suspect had links to the River of Love movement and had attended one of their meetings the day before the murder. The religious organisation later said it has nothing to do with Aquilina.

The autopsy on Dembska’s body was concluded on Monday evening. It confirmed that she had been raped and strangled.

Several women have reported that they had been sexually harassed by Aquilina in the past. Some of the girls were only 14-years-old at the time.

Police sources, meanwhile, told The Malta Independent that, while the interrogation was suspended, the investigations continue. Police are examining CCTV footage taken from the scene of the crime.

The police are currently waiting for the psychiatric evaluation to conclude. Mental health experts will determine whether Aquilina is fit to be charged in court.  

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