A man who claimed to be part of the French Foreign Legion has been sentenced to a year imprisonment for falsifying documents, resisting arrest, escaping police custody and slightly injuring a police officer.

Miljan Cvetkovic was arrested in a hotel gym by police on suspicion of using forged documents.

He was taken to police headquarters, where the police sought a translator because the suspect, a Serbian national, could not speak good English. He identified a woman who could act as a translator and the police agreed. 

While he was in an inspector's office Mr Cvetkovic assaulted Inspector Hubert Gerada and then asked to be seen by a psychiatrist.

He was seen by a doctor from Floriana health centre who referred him to Mount Carmel Hospital.

However, according to procedure, he first needed to be taken to Mater Dei Hospital. While being registered there, he escaped and ran out.

Constable Jonathan Sterry was slightly injured when he re-arrested him.

The court was told that following expert examination, it resulted that the accused's passport, driving licence and residence permit, all allegedly issued in Slovenia, were forged. 

In reply, the accused said he was actually Boris Carnic, a former officer and veteran of the Serbian army and a former member of the French Foreign Legion.  He also claimed illegal arrest.

The court after examining the evidence said it was satisfied with the way the arrest was made, and observed that the police had even accepted to appoint the interpreter he requested and had brought in a doctor when he requested one. 

It was also futile of the accused to claim that he had not known he was under arrest while at Mater Dei Hospital. Had that been the case, why did he run out instead of walking out normally?

The court also said that it was satisfied with the identity of the man, noting that according to the Slovenian authorities, Boris Carnic did not exist. 

Furthermore, being a member of the French Foreign Legion, or anything else, did not mean that the accused was above the law. 

The court found Mr Cvetkovic guilty of having forged documents, escaping police custody, resisted arrest and slightly injuring an officer and jailed him for a year.

He was also fined €5,000 and ordered to pay costs of €730.

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