A man charged with breaking a man’s nose with a punch was yesterday acquitted after the police failed to provide enough evidence that he was the assailant.

A fight allegedly took place between the accused, Etienne Vella, 30, of Ħamrun and Enrico Camilleri on September 13, 2009 inside the Liberty Bar in Ħamrun after Mr Camilleri approached Mr Vella and told him he wanted the money he was owed.

The police were called to the bar and a search was carried out for Mr Camilleri who, the police were told, had left the bar carrying a knife or a taser gun.

They managed to track him down but with blood running down his face Mr Camilleri at first refused to make a report about the incident. He was eventually persuaded to do so, Police Sergeant Conrad Debattista testified.

But he could not identify the person who had hit him, the officer added. He also decided not to testify so as not to incriminate himself.

Mr Camilleri’s fiancée, Lorraine Cassar, who also testified said that on the night in question she was at Liberty Bar and, although she could confirm there was a fight, she did not know how it all started.

She said the accused owed her fiancé €4,000. She denied Mr Camilleri had a knife or any other weapon and said he was only in possession of a mobile phone.

In handing down judgment, Magistrate Jacqueline Padovani said the prosecution had failed to produce enough evidence to prove its case. The evidence had been limited to the police report and the sole witness did not know how the fight started. She acquitted Mr Vella.

Defence lawyer José Herrera appeared for the accused.

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