An unlicenced detention centre security officer on Saturday denied the attempted murder of a migrant at whom he fired two shots. 

Darren Bonello, 30, from St Paul's Bay, fired two "warning shots", with at least one of them fired in the direction of the migrant he was chasing. 

Before Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit, Bonello denied the attempted murder of Abdulrahman Abdullah Hamza at around 2.30am on Friday. He also denied slightly injuring him when he hit his target with the second shot. 

Bonello also pleaded not guilty to carrying an unlicensed Bennelli weapon, breaching the conditions of his firearms licence, being in possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime and working as a security guard without a licence. 

The court heard how the accused was trying restrain the migrant from fleeing and had fired the shots when the migrant attempted to scale the fence leading to the airport runway. 

Defence lawyers Franco Debono and Amadeus Cachia requested bail, insisting that their client was only defending himself from the migrant's assault, who had even injured him. He was also doing his job in trying to stop the escape. 

Despite the prosecution's objections, the court granted the man bail against a €3,000 deposit and a €10,000 personal guarantee. He was ordered to sign the bail book three times a week and to observe a curfew. 

Police Inspector Jannetta Grixti prosecuted. 

Meanwhile, earlier in the day 27 migrants allegedly involved in Friday’s riots were remanded in custody following their arraignment.
The charges included voluntary damage to third party property, taking part in a riot and escaping from detention. Two men were separately charged with injuring four police officers, two of whom allegedly suffered grievous injuries. 

All 27 pleaded not guilty. Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit turned down the request for bail.

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