A Filipino woman who stands accused of murdering her partner at their Mellieħa apartment earlier this month told police that the victim “fell on a knife” during a physical fight.
Mayumi Santos Patacsil was hauled to court today to answer to charges of murdering her partner Marcelino Montalban Saraza, also a Filipino national.
Besides murder, Patascil has also been charged with fabricating evidence and suppressing traces of a crime and is pleading not guilty to all charges.
Times of Malta reported that police sergeant Joseph Attard told the court that he was called to Mellieħa after Patascil called for an ambulance, claiming she was bleeding after Saraza physically abused her.
She was found standing in the road with blood-smeared and scratched hands and taken straight to the police domestic violence unit and then to hospital, where she told police that she had lived with Saraza for four years and that he would often beat her up, especially when he was drunk, but that she never reported him to the police because she forgave him.
It was only when she was filing a domestic violence report that Patascil went into more detail about the fight, telling police that during their last argument, she had kicked him in his private parts and that Saraza ended up falling on a knee.
Police then visited the couple’s home, their Serbian flatmate opened the door, and officers found Saraza’s body on the floor in the kitchen-dining area covered with a sheet. He had a large wound in his stomach, which an autopsy later ruled to be the cause of death, as well as a deep graze on his neck.
Police found a blood-smeared chef’s knife in the kitchen sink and another knife below the balcony.
Their flatmate told the police that the couple often argued and that Patascil had accused Saraza of cheating on her. When an argument broke out that night, the flatmate locked herself and her daughter in their room where at one point she heard Saraza cry out in pain and Patascil apologise to him.
She then heard a person (allegedly Patascil) walk into the Filipino couple’s bedroom and head out of the apartment, wheeling luggage behind her.
Further witness testimony shows the murder suspect visited another Filipino couple who lived nearby, told them that she stabbed her partner and asked if she could stay the night.
However, they told her to seek help elsewhere and watched from the balcony as the police car arrived to escort her away.
Police also presented a report filed in December 2020 by a woman who had received messages from Patascil, alleging that Saraza was having an affair with her.
Magistrate Caroline Farrugia Frendo declared that there was enough prima facie evidence for Patascil to stand trial and the case was put off till August.
Lawyers Ryan Ellul and Tiziana Micallef are defending Patascil, while AG lawyer George Camilleri is assisting the prosecution.
Cover photo: Left: Marcelino Montalban Saraza, Right: The scene of the crime