Teenager Who Ran Over Policeman in Luqa Pleads Not Guilty As Officer’s Daughter Demands Justice
"I hope justice will reign in Malta"
The teenager who shocked Malta when he ran over a policeman in Luqa yesterday has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, but has had his request for bail denied.
Meanwhile, the daughter of police officer Simon Schembri has demanded justice for her father, whose arm will have to be amputated after the hit-and-run incident.
Liam Debono, 17, appeared in court today with his lawyer Franco Debono to answer for charges of attempted murder and 22 other charges - including driving without a license and without insurance cover.
Debono argued that his client is innocent until proven guilty and that there was no risk of any evidence getting contaminated if he had to be released on bail. He also urged magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech to ban the media from publishing his client’s name.
However, prosecuting officer Pierguido Saliba cautioned against bail, warning Debono’s crime was “not only against a human being but against a police officer representing the state”.
Moreover, Debono had been cautioned by police for driving dangerously and without a license in the past and has several pending court cases. He had also given police inspectors different home addresses and wasn’t currently cooperating with them in the hit-and-run investigation.
Magistrate Frendo Dimech ruled in favour of the prosecution, meaning Debono has been maintained in police custody and his name can be published in the press.
Schembri’s daughter Leah demanded justice for her father and urged everyone to change their Facebook profile pictures to the slogan “Lives In Blue Do Matter” as a sign of solidarity with police officers.
“From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank all he Maltese people who showed solidarity and love towards my family, even by sending a simple message,” Leah said. “To my dad, I want to tell you that you have been a hero throughout your 22 years of service in the police force. You had a heart of gold and you stuck your neck out to help those in need, but sadly, a regular work day had to end up in such a tragedy. Just like you, there are other police officers who sacrifice their lives on a daily basis. #Respect. I hope justice will reign in Malta."