24-year-old Ryan Sultana, who allegedly fired three shots at a 55-year-old man in Iklin yesterday, is pleading not guilty to attempted murder and grievous bodily harm.
Sultana said in court that he feared for his safety, and claimed that CCTV footage of the incident “will tell the truth”.
He is also facing other charges related to misuse of a firearm, causing violence and breaching the public peace.
The 24-year-old gardener from Iklin chased down and shot at his victim, Vincent Xuereb, following an argument.
Victim Xuereb, known as Ċensu ‘L-Oranġjo’, is a known fraudster and has a number of pending court cases.
The two men are understood to have clashed in the past, and Xuereb allegedly defrauded the shooter of €7,000.
Prosecuting George Camilleri told the court that Xuereb will also be investigated.
The incident happened on Triq il-Wied in Iklin around 3.30pm, after which the victim was left with grievous injuries. Despite being shot at three times he was only hit once in the shoulder, and he was covered in blood as he left his vehicle.
Xuereb was treated for his gunshot wound in hospital, but his life was never in any danger.
Sultana said he owned the shotgun licensed for hunting with which he shot Xuereb, and police officers have located and confiscated the weapon.
Defence lawyer Arthur Azzopardi said that the CCTV footage of the incident clearly shows what happened, and that many facts were preserved. “Whatever either of them testifies is irrelevant,” he added.
But the prosecution objected to a request for bail, as the victim is yet to testify and there is the risk of further incident should the two men cross paths again.
The court ordered the accused to be in protective custody, and another magistrate will be trying Sultana at a later date.
Cover image: TVM
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