A man suspected to be behind the stabbing of another man has claimed the injuries resulted from an altercation between the two.
Simar Halil Hannan, the 26-year-old Syrian man charged with seriously injuring 29-year-old Lamir Mohammad, also Syrian, said he was defending himself during a fight that erupted at a garage in Triq il-Kappar, Mosta, at around 10pm on 26th January.
Mohammad believes the attack was religiously-motivated.
After police searched for Halil Hannan for days, he eventually turned himself in accompanied by his lawyer Arthur Azzopardi. They maintain that the attack had no religious basis, and the court will now look towards the testimonies of a number of witnesses to verify the facts.
Besides attempting to seriously injure Mohammad, Halil Hannan was also charged with insulting Mohammad and attempting to use force against him.
He was released on bail by Magistrate Rachel Montebello against a €400 deposit and a €2,000 personal guarantee, and was ordered to sign a bail book three times a week. The court has also requested a protection order for Mohammad.
Reacting to the news, Mohammad told Lovin Malta that he feels “truly scared” with his alleged attacker “back on the streets”.
“We feel really bad about it, they got everything back to front,” he said, saying that people should check the CCTV of the area to verify what happened.
The victim maintains that the attack was religiously motivated; speaking to Lovin Malta after the incident, Malta’s Imam said the altercation stemmed from a personal dispute. Now, the court heard how the altercation stemmed from a professional dispute, according to the accused.
Mohammad had recounted what happened to him that fateful night.
“All the garages were closed by then, it was around 9.30pm, but I thought maybe the guy I was meant to meet was working late or something. One man who I know told me ‘orajt?‘ as I entered the garage… and then suddenly, out of nowhere I felt this brutal hit to my head. I had no idea what was happening, and then I see this guy with a massive machete. Within seconds, I ran away and ran back into my car and drove directly to Mater Dei. But blood was coming out everywhere and it was getting harder to see through the windows.”