Telecommunications providers will confirm whether calls for an ambulance were made from the mobile phone of an injured migrant worker left dumped on the side of the road, a court heard on Friday.

Police have requested access to call logs made from the phone of Jaiteh Lamin, who was found injured on the side of Selmun Road, Mellie─ža last month.

Lamin was allegedly dumped there by his boss, contractor Glen Farrugia, after he fell two storeys from a construction site, fracturing his spine. He claims Farrugia did not want to take him to hospital and told him to say he had been hit by a car. 

Farrugia stands charged with grievous bodily harm and trying to cover up the traces of a crime by removing Lamin from the scene of his construction site fall as well as 18 other charges. He is pleading not guilty and is out on bail.

Inspector George Frendo told a court that representatives of a telephony service provider would be brought in to testify in the case.   

Defence: contractor ‘tried to help’ migrant

During Inspector Frendo’s cross-examination, defence lawyer Franco Debono implied that his client had tried to make a call from the injured migrant’s mobile phone. 

The inspector would not confirm whether any such calls had been traced from Lamin’s phone, saying only that call logs had been requested and witnesses from a service provider will be brought in to testify at a later date. 

Debono said his client was charged with not assisting the migrant, however this call for an ambulance, if proven, could show otherwise.

Prosecution: accused left victim writhing in pain

The inspector rebutted that Farrugia had not provided assistance at the scene of the fall and had allegedly driven Lamin off to another site and left him on the road where he was writhing in pain, he said.

Also under cross-examination, the inspector told the court that the police had not yet established the cause of Lamin’s fall. Frendo said that preliminary checks by the police suggested that Lamin had not previously worked illegally in Malta.

The inspector later asked the court to appoint an IT expert to extract data from Farrugia’s phone. The defence insisted that only data related to the incident should be extracted from the phone, and that Farrugia should be present when data was extracted.

Even though Farrugia is accused of a crime, he still has the right to privacy and his personal communication and other data should be respected, the defence argued. 

Both requests were upheld by the court. 

Lawyers Franco Debono and Matthew Xuereb appeared for the defence, while lawyer Gianluca Cappitta appeared on behalf of the victim.

Magistrate Marse Ann Farrugia. 

The case was adjourned until November 3, 2021.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us