The Malta Independent 24 January 2022, Monday

Sliema murder suspect Abner Aquilina to be arraigned this evening

Thursday, 13 January 2022, 09:26 Last update: about 10 days ago

Sliema murder suspect Abner Aquilina is expected to be arraigned in court at around 6pm today, The Malta Independent is informed.

He was released from Mount Carmel Hospital yesterday and his police interrogation resumed.

The 20-year-old is suspected of murdering Paulina Dembska on 2 January. The 29-year-old English language student was found dead at Independence Garden on the second day of the year, at around 6:20am. An autopsy confirmed that she had been raped and strangled. The investigation has confirmed that this was a random killing, with no known link between victim and suspect.

Aquilina reportedly confessed to the murder of the Polish national on two occasions - first after he was restrained by a group of men inside the Balluta church shortly after the crime, and then during the police interrogation. Officers had to suspend their interrogation when Aquilina allegedly claimed that the Devil had told him to kill. Aquilina, who had attended a meeting of the Evangelical group River of Love the night before the killing, told police he was "doing God's work" but said the Devil had "entered his thoughts" the night before Dembska was murdered.

Aquilina was taken to the police headquarters for questioning but a mental health specialist was brought in when he made the demonic claims. He was later referred to Mount Carmel hospital, where he was reportedly being administered heavy medication. He was then released yesterday and taken in by the police for questioning.


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