The mayor of Valletta has said he forgives a Maltese youth suspected of destroying his car in an arson attack.
During a court sitting, mayor Alfred Zammit explained how he has known Brentley Pace, and his family, since he was young. Pace, a 21-year-old shopkeeper, has pleaded not guilty to being behind at least four arson attacks that happened in Valletta, with the attacks happening over a five-month-period.
“I knew Brentley as a child. I know his parents and grandparents. I know he has a good family background. I remember him on the streets of Valletta. I know him well,” Zammit said in court today, the Times of Malta reported.
“It was a trauma, something unnecessary in my life. But since Brentley is young, I wish that he reforms himself and I forgive him.”
However, as soon as Zammit said that, Pace’s defence lawyer David Gatt jumped in, saying: “There’s nothing to forgive.”
Matthew Xuereb, appearing parte civile for Zammit, responded by saying it was remiss to question a victim in such a way, an intervention that was seconded by Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit.
“If it’s him, of course,” Zammit continued.
Zammit’s car, a BMW 520d, burnt to a crisp at around 12.30am on 25th September, 2020.
His car was parked in a reserved parking spot in the Hastings car park. He recalled how he was in bed when he received a call informing him of the nearby blaze, and called the Valletta police station to inform them.
He described the arson as a “surprise”.
It wasn’t only Zammit’s vehicle that was damaged – another Valletta resident whose Smart car was parked near the mayor’s took the stand in court. Saying her car was being written off as a “total loss”, she lamented how one moment she owned a car, and a moment later she was car-less, left to use public transport to get to work.