Abner Aquilina is currently being interrogated at the Police Headquarters in Floriana over the rape and murder of Paulina Dembska.
Aquilina was taken to the depot earlier today after being released from Mount Carmel. He was referred to the mental health care facility after he made sensational claims while under interrogation.
It is as yet unclear what doctors at Mount Carmel concluded about Aquilina’s mental health and his state at the time of the horrific attack.
Police will now speak to Aquilina about the evidence they have gathered over the last 10 days and will try to get to the bottom of the heinous murder.
Aquilina reportedly attended a River of Love ceremony on Saturday, the night before the murder, after which he joined community group members for a gathering in Żejtun that lasted till midnight.
He was allegedly set to sleep over at a River of Love member’s home and attend the group’s meetings again the next day, but he was nowhere to be seen on Sunday morning.
His movements before the murder will remain a mystery, and questions will be asked as to how and why Aquilina made his way all the way to a garden in Sliema and whether the crime was premeditated.
Dembska, a 29-year-old Polish national, was murdered on 2nd January at Independence Gardens, Sliema, where she used to feed stray cats.
Lovin Malta has revealed how Aquilina told investigators that he was a “soldier from God” and was acting upon the orders of “frequencies” in the lead up to the murder.
Just half an hour before his arrest, Aquilina allegedly appeared at the Balluta Church, which is close to where Dembska was discovered. He reportedly approached the altar and caused a scene, overturning some seats.
Police do intend to charge Aquilina with an arraignment expected in the next 48 hours. Still, it is as yet unclear whether he will claim insanity.
The murder has shocked the nation, with many pointing to the country’s long-standing issues with femicide and violence against women as directly leading to these kinds of incidents. However, others have placed further emphasis on the mental health issue in Malta.
Several women have also claimed they were harassed by Aquilina, with Lovin Malta receiving numerous screenshots from messages sent by the murder suspect.
Meanwhile, a woman detailed how she and a friend were confronted by an erratic Aquilina when she visited Xrobb l-Għaġin on New Year’s Eve.
Police have asked women who claimed they were sexually harassed by Aquilina to come forward and file an official complaint, pledging to take it “very seriously”.
If you or someone you know needs to talk about their mental health, please call national support service 179. Alternatively, visit www.kellimni.com; the Richmond Foundation’s OLLI.chat to get in touch online; or the Kif Int? website.
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