CCTV footage had corroborated claims by the alleged victim of a brief abduction last January, a police inspector testified in court on Tuesday.

Inspector Roderick Attard was testifying in the compilation of evidence against Christian Borg, 28, owner of No Deposit Cars Malta, Thorne Mangion, 27, Tyson Grech, 26, Burton Azzopardi, 20, Jeremy Borg, 20 and Luke John Milton, 25, who are pleading not guilty to their alleged involvement in abduction.

At an earlier sitting, the victim, Carlos Schembri had recounted the ordeal which started when he was dragged out of his silver Mercedes as he sat outside his garage in Rabat, and then pushed into a white Peugeot Traveller which was driven to Corradino.

Along the way he was interrogated by his abductors about his suspected involvement in the theft of a van from Borg’s car company and was punched, kicked and threatened whenever he denied a role. His mobile was snatched out of his possession and its contents checked.

The youth had said that he was later transferred to another van, a blue Mercedes Sprinter, before the trip resumed. He managed to escape when the gang stopped at a Fgura petrol station to refuel.

The dynamics of the incident were briefly recounted on Tuesday by one of the investigating officers, Inspector Roderick Attard, who testified when the compilation of evidence resumed.

He said that after receiving a report of the incident at the Rabat police station, he had visited the garage where the episode started off, confirming that nothing was missing from the victim’s garage.

Schembri’s version was corroborated by CCTV footage, the inspector said.

Later, it turned out that the alleged abduction was linked to another incident reported at the Paola police station that same day. That report was filed by Joseph Camenzuli and concerned some vehicle parts which had been discovered inside a garage.

Police summoned Christian Borg who turned up with Schembri’s phone, claiming that the device contained evidence proving that Schembri was involved in the theft of a van.

Borg handed over Schembri’s phone to the police.

His own IPhone 13 was also seized.

Court experts who examined the alleged victim’s Mercedes found a drop of blood on the right hand door, the inspector testified, exhibiting a number of photos taken with his own mobile phone.

The witness also exhibited copies of call logs. Defence lawyers Michael Sciriha and Giannella de Marco, minuted their reservations in view of the fact that such evidence could possibly result in a breach of the accused’s constitutional rights. That reservation was likewise recorded by lawyer Franco Debono and Jason Grima with respect to their respective clients.

The prosecution also exhibited a pen drive which had been handed over by the victim’s sister when testifying earlier in the proceedings.

Upon a request by one of the defence lawyers, the court accessed the contents of that pen drive, confirming that all it contained were two screenshots.

As the sitting drew to an end, lawyer Matthew Xuereb informed the court that an application had been filed on behalf of the accused Luke John Milton who was willing to testify about the claims made in the case.

He said that Schembri had been trying to contact Milton’s partner and other family members via social media. The lawyer requested the court to issue a Protection Order.

Magistrate Monica Vella scheduled a hearing for tomorrow specifically to handle this issue, whilst ordering notice of Milton’s application to the Attorney General, the police commissioner and Schembri himself.

The case itself continues in July.

Inspectors Roderick Attard and Sarah Kathleen Zerafa prosecuted, assisted by AG lawyers Karl Muscat and Francesco Refalo.

Lawyers Giannella de Marco, Gianluca Caruana Curran, Michael Sciriha, Franco Debono, Matthew Xuereb, Jason Grima and Stefano Filletti are defence counsel.

Lawyer Shaun Zammit appeared parte civile.

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