Three construction workers were provisionally released from custody after facing charges of injuring another man in a fight in Marsascala.

The workers - Albanian brothers Edison Lamaj, 42, and Saimir Lamaj, 41 and a third man, Artur Muskaj, 38, also Albanian, were arraigned in front of Magistrate Joseph Gatt on Tuesday, accused of grievously injuring another Albanian man.

Police Inspector Gabriel Kitcher told the court that the incident occurred in Triq is-Sajjieda in Marsascala, the locality where all three men, as well as the alleged victim, reside, on Easter  Sunday.

The alleged victim had filed a police report at the Marsascala police station, telling officers that the three accused, as well as another man, had engaged in a physical altercation with him.

The man was subsequently taken to Mater Dei Hospital via ambulance, where he was certified as having grievous injuries. On the strength of an arrest warrant, Kitcher said that the Lamaj brothers were arrested later that evening.

Muskaj, he added had voluntarily come to the police station on Monday evening after Kitcher called him earlier in the day.

All three are pleading not guilty to the charges.

Making a case for bail, lawyer Wilfrid Buttigieg said that while it is true that the accused are Albanian, the Lamaj brothers had strong ties to Malta, having lived in the country for five years and having rented a residence with another two of their siblings throughout this time.

They are also both in possession of a residence permit and have stable jobs in the construction industry.

“The fact that they are a family unit of four who are living in a foreign country together indicates that they are here permanently, not like individuals who may be living alone without emotional attachments,” he said, in assurance to the court that the accused did not pose a fear of absconding.

The incident was a one-off event as all of the men have clean criminal records, he said.

Additionally, lawyer Jacob Magri said that there has already been some discussion with the alleged victim, who has expressed that he is open to forgiving the accused for what transpired and likely did not intend to testify during proceedings.

Nonetheless, having filed the police report himself, the victim’s version of events had already been preserved in police evidence and should his testimony have any variations from his original statement, he would have to bear responsibility for that.

Speaking for Muskaj, lawyer Francesca Zarb said that the same circumstances applied to the accused, who has been living in Malta and working regularly for five years, together with his wife who is heavily pregnant and due to give birth any day.

The prosecution said it was objecting “as a formality” as there is still a fear of tampering with evidence should the alleged victim choose to testify and that the man should have assurances to be able to testify with ease.

In terms of fear of absconding, Kitcher appealed to the court that should bail be granted, their documents should be deposited with the court for the duration of proceedings.

After hearing submissions, Magistrate Gatt ruled in favour of bail for all three of the men against a deposit of €1,000 and a personal guarantee of €3,000.

They were also ordered to sign the bail book at the Marsascala police station three times a week and remain indoors between 9pm and 5.30am. A protection order was also issued in favour of the victim.

Federico Barbaro Sant appeared for the Attorney General.

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