A man who desperately wanted to leave Malta to help his sick son but had no valid travel documents was remanded in custody on Monday after he allegedly damaged a monitor at the airport.

The incident took place last Saturday at around 9.30pm when Ethiopian national Abdirizak Abdillah Abdi, 27, went to the airport in frustration at being unable to travel to Germany to be with his sick son.

The court heard that the boy needs surgery and German authorities were allegedly refusing to go ahead with the operation without the father’s signature. 

“He’s been trying to obtain a passport for several months,” legal aid lawyer Christopher Chircop said. He later added that “bureaucracy” was getting in the way of this man’s wish to be reunited with his sick son. 

Prosecuting Inspector Silvio Magro explained that the accused had voluntarily turned up at the police station after the incident, allegedly confessing to how he had thrown a stone at a flight monitor.

The court explained that voluntary damage to third party property was a serious offence, punishable by imprisonment, and the accused eventually pleaded not guilty, after consulting his lawyer through the help of an Arabic-speaking interpreter.

A request for bail was objected to by the prosecution since the accused had no fixed residence, telling police that he lived at Fgura and later saying that he was taking up residence with friends at Kirkop.

Besides, the man intended to travel to Germany, Inspector Magro said.

The defence lawyer rebutted, arguing that the accused held the keys to a Kirkop residence and also had a job in Malta.

After hearing submissions by both parties the court, presided over by magistrate Josette Demicoli, turned down the request for bail since the accused failed to provide sufficient guarantee as required at law.

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

Support Us