Twelve migrants out of 20 who escaped from the Safi detention centre on Monday, were remanded in custody following their re-arrest and arraignment on Tuesday.

Abdel Hamid Al Banagesh, Fadli Nord, Yassin Noubeai, Mohsem Shaoob, Fakawi Abdigani, Imad Tibibouche, Slimane Derhani, Abubi Sadir, Salah Cheba, Hamza Faraqe, Borgi Nourdine and Mohamed Arabi pleaded not guilty to having escaped from lawful custody.

While being questioned in court, one of the men objected stating that he was no criminal, adding that they had to escape because of the treatment received.

The ages of these migrants, who arrived in Malta recently, ranged from 18 to 24. All were Moroccan nationals, except for one who was Egyptian.

An internal investigation is being carried out into the way the migrants escaped. The 12 were re-arrested within hours of their escape.

Another four were reportedly re-arrested on Tuesday.

The court was presided by Magistrate Neville Camilleri.

Senior Inspector Trevor Micallef prosecuted.

Lawyer Joseph Brincat was legal aid counsel.

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