A police officer has described the "frightening" state of Jeremie Camilleri's home when they arrested him for the murder of Pelin Kaya, who he mowed down in his car and then stoned as she lay dying.

Camilleri, 33, accompanied homicide officers to his Lija home after the rampage in the early hours of January 18.

Police sergeant Christian Xuereb told a court on Tuesday how it was littered with Camilleri's faeces, was flooded with water, had an overflowing toilet and mice in the kitchen.

It was "tal-biza [frightening]", Xuereb said. 

He and another police witness gave an account of the French-Maltese national's movements on the night of his alleged cocaine-fuelled rampage.

It took seven minutes for him to drive from his home to the scene. At around midnight, his mother's BMW X6 was caught speeding at 75.8km/hr on the Birkirkara bypass, before travelling to Gżira near Continental Cars on Testaferrata Street. 

Other footage showed the victim, Pelin Kaya, walking along the pavement from the opposite direction. The BMW is shown closing in on her until it hits her, flinging her into the air. 

The car then smashed into the Paul and Rocco petrol station and the KFC restaurant. Camilleri was filmed leaving the car and picking up six stones, which he began to fling at the victim and others.

At one point a person threw a stone at Camilleri, only for him to catch it and fling it at the victim, whose body never moved. She was declared dead at Mater Dei hospital at around 2.30am - around an hour and a half after the attack. 

A pastizzeria employee was among the witnesses Camilleri is alleged to have attacked. The man described to police how Camilleri "made a beeline" towards him, striking him on the neck with such force that he was knocked down.

Camilleri kicked him and then went on to punch another driver who arrived on the scene before threatening to "fight the police", who had come to arrest him.

The court heard how Camilleri, who had to be subdued by a taser, had been under psychiatric care before the incident. His lawyer Alfred Abela asked the court for a new psychiatric assessment on his client.

Lawyers for the family and the Attorney General protested but Magistrate Rachel Montebello agreed to a court-appointed psychiatrist assessing his current state of mind. 

The court declared that there was sufficient prima facie evidence for the accused to stand trial on indictment. 

In a previous sitting, the court heard how Camilleri, a French-Maltese national, had told police he wanted "to be famous" and was a "psychopath and proud" as officers attempted to arrest him over the incident. 

He denies murdering Pelin, whom he ran over in his mother's BMW X6 car on the Msida Road in Gżira in the early hours of January 18, her 30th birthday.

Her family, who were in court for the compilation of evidence, issued a statement saying they would not rest until justice is served. 



Family mark three weeks from murder

1.53pm Pelin Kaya's family released a statement as they marked the third week of the death. 

They thanked the police, lawyers, government, Turkish embassy and the Maltese people for their support. 

"From this day onwards, we can only aim for justice and we count on the continuous support of Maltese people who will not put this case to rest until justice is served," they dais.


Hearing ends

1.09pm The hearing ends here. The next hearing will be on March 16. Everyone files out. 

Thank you for joining us. We'll have a short summary above of today's evidence. 

Sufficient evidence for accused to stand trial

1.08pm The court declared that there was sufficient prima facie evidence for the accused to stand trial on indictment.

Magistrate allows psychiatric assessment

1.06pm Lawyers for the Attorney General argue that the defence’s request lacks basis. But the magistrate, after hearing submissions, says that the request is to be upheld and therefore nominates a psychiatrist to examine the accused at present.

Camilleri under pyschiatric care before incident

1.02pm Inspector Kurt Zahra points out that the accused had been under psychiatric care prior to the incident. That was determined. So that psychiatrist could testify here.

But if Camilleri’s personal psychiatrist were to testify, the prosecution would say that that is not admissible. 

Victim's family lawyers object

12.57pm Parte civile lawyer Shazoo Ghaznavi - representing the victim's family - says that the accused was examined before his statement was taken. Defence had already requested an examination by a prison psychiatrist at the arraignment stage.

The magistrate notes that that request was not minuted.

Parte civile object to the request. Camilleri was examined for statement purposes and his lawyers also requested psychiatric examination to detain him at the forensic unit. What’s the purpose of defence’s request today?

Alfred Abela says that the accused’s condition should be assessed by a court-appointed psychiatrist. A discussion ensues between the sides.

Lawyers ask for psychiatrist's assessment

12.54pm Camilleri's lawyers also request that the accused be examined by a psychiatrist to assess his mental state.

The Attorney General's lawyers say that the accused was being detained in prison. There was nothing to indicate anything about his mental state. And besides, there were psychiatrists at Corradino Correctional Facility. 

Camilleri's medication

12.50pm The lawyer says that at some point, police had stopped for Jeremie Camilleri’s medicine at a nearby pharmacy at Lija.

They were told that on a psychiatrist’s advice, the pharmacist had a kind of arrangement to administer medication to Camilleri on a daily basis.

Rather than give him a weekly supply, it was better if the patient went for the medication every day.

Overflowing toilet, mice in the kitchen

12.47pm Defence lawyer Alfred Abela cross-examines the witness. He says that the accused’s home was corner-shaped. His mother’s residence was blocked from his own.

His residence was very run down. Sergeant Xuereb described the accused’s faeces scattered all over, the toilet overflowing, mice in the kitchen and all over the place.

Tal-biza’![Frightening],”  says the witness.

"So you wouldn’t live there, would you?", asks the lawyer.

"No, I wouldn’t".


12.46pm Other footage captured Camilleri's arrest. He was escorted away on a stretcher while police closed off the area with tape. More footage showed the victim being carried away on a stretcher.

Camilleri stoned victim

12.44pm The police witness describes how Jeremie then picked up six stones. At no point did the victim move.

Someone tried to throw a stone at him to try to stop him but he caught that stone in the air and flung it at Pelin.

He then grabs another stone and aims it at another person, hitting her. Footage shows him attacking a driver in a car, then picking stones and aiming them at another person near Paul and Rocco.

Camilleri's movements

12.40pm It's a seven-minute drive from Lija to Gzira. Xuereb now outlines Camilleri's movements that night:

He left home around 8pm. Then back. He then went out again around 12.54am. He headed through Balzan, then Dun Karm Psaila Street, Birkirkara, then on to Gzira near Continental Cars.

Other footages show the victim, Pelin Kaya, walking along the pavement from the direction of Gasan Mamo . Then the BMW appears, heading towards the seafront.

Ten photos show the car closing in, until it hits the victim. The body is flung in the air.

The car smashes into Paul and Rocco, then KFC. Jeremie leaves his car, crosses to the other side and attacks people.

Booked for speeding

12.32pm Xuereb describes making arrangements to lift CCTV footage from near Camilleri's home. He describes how he was tasked to trace the shortest route taken by the accused from his home to Gzira. That was through the Birkirkara bypass.

Xuereb checked whether the BMW had got a speeding ticket and was told that he got booked for driving at 75.8 km/hr around midnight that day - around an hour before the murder. 

Search of Camilleri's home

12.28pm After his arrest, police searched the accused’s Lija home with him. When they opened the door, they could not enter. They had the key but the door was locked on the inside. His mum had probably locked it, Camilleri told them.

They waited for his mother to come and unlock it, which she did. Entering the place they found lots of water seeping inside.

They found his mobile on a sofa and seized it. The search yielded nothing else.

'One, two, three, Viva l-Algerie!'

12.25pm Another witness had seen Camilleri attack the driver of a Peugeot vehicle and anyone else in his way. He also pelted the victim with stones. People at the KFC entrance tried to stop him but he persisted.

“One, two, three, Viva l-Algerie!” the witness heard Camilleri shout. This is a slogan usually chanted by supporters of the Algerian football team. 

'See how I'll fight the police'

12.22pm Another person nearby also heard the crash and saw lots of smoke, Xuereb continues. This man saw the driver pelt the body on the road. When the aggressor moved away, the witness approached the woman and checked her pulse.

When the police arrived, everyone moved away. “I am a psychopath. Now see how I’ll fight with the police,” the aggressor shouted when the police arrived.

Another witness punched

12.20pm Another witness told Xuereb that he was driving when he heard a loud brake and noise. The driver of the crashed vehicle got out, headed towards his car and landed a punch. But he missed him.

The witness tried to reverse. Jeremie Camilleri banged on his car mudguard. But the witness did not leave the site. He watched as Camilleri attacked the pastizzeria employee. Then Camilleri went to the woman on the road swearing at her. 

Camilleri kicked and knocked over pastizzeria employee

12.17pm The sergeant describes how he started off inquiries for potential witnesses. He first came across an employee at pastizzeria nearby. He said that he had been seated outside the shop when he spotted the car heading in the direction of KFC. Asked if he saw anyone being hit, he replied no.

The driver got out and made a beeline towards the employee. He struck him on the neck with such force that he knocked him over. Then as he lay on the ground, the man kicked him on the leg.

He managed to get up, into the shop, pulling down the shutter. Another man had helped the employee into the pastizzeria.

Homicide officer takes oath

12.14pm Police Sergeant Christian Xuereb from the homicide squad takes the oath next. His assistance was needed at the crime scene. A woman had been knocked down and the driver had pelted her with stones.

He went to Gżira. He describes the BMW smashed into the KFC, lots of debris scattered around. By the time he arrived, the driver had been arrested and the identity of the victim was determined.

Victim's death certificate presented

12.10pm The witness now presents the victim’s death certificate. He identified the accused whom he recognised from CCTV footage. Inspector Wood adds that Jeremie had already been escorted away when he arrived at the crime scene. The suspect had first been taken to hospital and later to police lockup.

Pelin Kaya had just turned 30 when she was murdered as she walked to meet her boyfriend. Photo: FacebookPelin Kaya had just turned 30 when she was murdered as she walked to meet her boyfriend. Photo: Facebook

Accused's ex partner among witnesses

12.08pm Various witnesses testified at the magisterial inquiry including the accused’s ex-partner.

Footage from incident

12.05pm Jeremie Camilleri was also on site. The witness took note of stones scattered across the incident site, when the BMW had smashed into the KFC. A pair of white slippers belonged to the victim.

Inspector Woods repeats some of the evidence we have previously heard: that Camilleri attacked witnesses, and threw stones at Kaya. 

Footage showed the moment when the BMW crashed into the KFC and Camilleri getting out and pelting her with stones. 

Pelin Kaya certified dead 

12.03pm  Paramedics were already on site, Inspector Woods testifies. Another sergeant said that the victim, later identified as Pelin Kaya, had lots of blood on and behind her head. She was certified dead at Mater Dei around 2:30am - that's around an hour and a half after the incident. 

Inspector Shamus Woods takes the stand

12.01pm Police Inspector Shamus Woods is the first to take the stand. He was stationed at Sliema police station and received a call from the control room about a traffic accident at Testaferrata Street and a person killed. Police went on site.  The BMW caused damage to the Paul and Rocco service station and a KFC restaurant. Paramedics were already on site.

Magisterial inquiry

12pm The magistrate’s deputy registrar exhibits the proces verbal - the acts of the magisterial inquiry drawn up by magistrate Nadine Lia. 

Court in session

11.56am Magistrate Rachel Montebello begins proceedings. 

Attorney General lawyers Nathaniel Falzon and Kaylie Bonnett are prosecuting, assisting inspectors Kurt Zahra and Shamus Woods.

The victim's family is represented by lawyers Shazoo Ghaznavi, Charlon Gouder and Ramona Attard.

Defendant Jeremie Camilleri is being represented by lawyers Alfred Abela and Rene Darmanin.

Pelin Kaya's family in court

11.52am We’re in the same hall as last time: hall 10. And it’s another packed session as relatives of the victim, media and prison guards file in to take their place. 

Pelin Kay's family earlier arrived from earthquake-hit Turkey. Her mother and cousins, uncle and brother-in-law are understood to have visited the murder site before coming to court this morning. 

Pelin Kaya's mother Çiçek Kaya,centre at a previous sitting. Photo: Miguela Xuereb/NewsbookPelin Kaya's mother Çiçek Kaya,centre at a previous sitting. Photo: Miguela Xuereb/Newsbook

Jeremie Camilleri escorted in

11.50am Jeremie Camilleri has come in to court under tight escort. He takes his place at the dock, hands clasped and eyes downcast.

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

Support Us