The Malta Independent 16 May 2022, Monday

Updated: Man charged with Marsalforn murder, pleads not guilty

Monday, 9 May 2022, 17:27 Last update: about 6 days ago

A 24-year-old Syrian man has pleaded not guilty to murdering a co-national in Marsalforn on Saturday.

Maher Aljasem, who lives in Marsalforn, was charged with the murder of Fawez Najem, 25, who was stabbed in the heart.

Aljasem was taken to the Gozo courthouse under heavy security. A large group of Syrian nationals gathered outside the Cittadella as the accused was led to the courts.

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The accused, who was also charged with stabbing and slightly injuring another Syrian man, pleaded not guilty to all charges. No request for bail was made at this stage and Aljasem was remanded in custody.

According to reports, the victim was stabbed in the heart while trying to break up a fight. A number of Syrian nationals were interrogated by police in connection with the case.

Heavily armed police escorted the accused inside the courtroom, where the case was heard before magistrate Bridgette Sultana.

At one point, the man’s lawyer appealed for calm inside the courtroom.

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