The motorist who killed pedestrian Pelin Kaya before crashing into a KFC outlet in Gżira last January threatened to track down the policemen who arrested him, a court heard on Monday.

He warned them he would not forget their faces and would “pay them back.” 

Jeremie Camilleri had already been handcuffed and was being treated by paramedics at the crash site when patrolling officer sergeant Andrea Zahra got there shortly after being alerted to the incident at around 1.08am on January 18.

The driver kept up his aggressive stance even after being tasered, so much so that doctors advised that he was to remain handcuffed for everyone’s safety.

The man was dangerous and appeared to be acting under the influence of some illicit substance, Zahra recalled when testifying in criminal proceedings against Camilleri.

Camilleri, 33, who holds French and Maltese citizenship, is pleading not guilty to the wilful homicide of Pelin Kaya, a 30-year old Turkish interior designer who was killed while walking down Testaferrata Street when the BMW driver ploughed into her before crashing into a petrol station and the KFC Gzira restaurant.

Pelin Kaya, 30, died after she was hit by the BMW. Photo: FacebookPelin Kaya, 30, died after she was hit by the BMW. Photo: Facebook

Zahra recalled the scene when he got to the incident.

The victim, he said, was being treated by paramedics as she lay on the street.

Doctors were applying a defibrillator but emergency specialist Michael Spiteri told police that there was a 99% chance that she would not make it to Mater Dei Hospital. 

Camilleri threatened policemen, challenged them to a fight

Further away from the victim, Camilleri was wrestling with police, trying to remove his handcuffs, whilst challenging the officers to fight.

He even threatened to “find them” once it was all over.

He would “not forget their faces” and would “pay them back,” police later recalled.

However, they ignored his threats and got on with their job.

The officer said that as Camilleri was taken to hospital, he kept up his aggressive behaviour and threats throughout the ride in the ambulance and even at Mater Dei where he also directed his aggression towards hospital staff.

That was why it was safer to keep him handcuffed, explained Zahra who had escorted the ambulance to Mater Dei.

Camilleri shouted at police and medical staff, hurling insults at a nurse because of her skin colour.

It was only after an hour and a half after he was tasered that Camilleri began to calm down enough to be transferred to another ward.

Asked by defence lawyer Alfred Abela, Zahra confirmed that Camilleri’s behaviour had swayed from hyper to low, but he remained aggressive all along. 

Breaking the news to Palin's boyfriend

PC Daniel Schembri said that when he went to hospital and introduced himself as an officer from the Homicide Squad, Camilleri, who was lying on a stretcher at the emergency department cut short any further conversation.

“I will not talk to you,” he told him.

Just then, the victim’s boyfriend arrived in hospital seeking news of Pelin.

He had just flown in from Turkey and was on his way to meet her, as she was celebrating her birthday that day.

It was not easy breaking the news that his girlfriend had died, the officer said.

“He needed time to process that news.”  

The officer said that since the man did not speak English fluently, he had called one of Pelin’s friends to translate.

She told police that earlier that evening Pelin was at her place celebrating her birthday and was to meet her boyfriend later.

She was very excited and looking forward to his arrival in Malta so that they could celebrate her birthday together.

The witness said he was also tasked with gathering footage from the crash site.

That footage showed “something flying,” Schembri testified. Unfortunately that was later identified as being the victim.

A LESA representative presented a speeding ticket from a speed camera issued against the BMW that night shortly after midnight.

The vehicle was driven at speed through Birkirkara in the direction of Msida, said the official, exhibiting the speed certificate calibration as well as the speed camera image.

The case, presided over by Magistrate Rachel Montebello, continues next week.

Inspector Kurt Zahra prosecuted, assisted by AG lawyer Kaylie Bonett.

Lawyer Alfred Abela was defence counsel.

Lawyers Shazoo Ghaznavi, Charlon Gouder and Ramona Attard appeared parte civile

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