A Somali and a Libyan who were involved in a fight in Paceville in the early hours of Saturday were remanded in custody after both pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against them.

Mohammed Ibrahim Abdalla, 19, from Somalia who lives in Marsascala, and Tripoli-born Miloud Elforjani, 33, who resides in Malta but has no fixed address, were arraigned separately yesterday afternoon by Inspector Elton Taliana. In court the Somali claimed that while he was walking through Paceville at about 3am, three Libyans, including Mr Elforjani, tried to steal his mobile phone and a fight broke out.

While the alleged aggressor was accused of causing slight injuries to the Somali, the latter was charged with grievous bodily harm and of being drunk in public. The prosecution said both men sustained injuries caused by a broken glass bottle which was used in the fight.

Both men were denied bail by the court for fear of absconding from the island.

However, Magistrate Gabriella Vella instructed the director of prisons to ensure they would be kept apart from each other.

Lawyer Noel Bartolo was defence counsel for the Somali while lawyer Noel Cutajar appeared for the Libyan.

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