The late Gunner Matthew Psaila died from hypothermia, a forensic pathologist told the Court this morning.
Gunner Psaila died following a military exercise in Chadwick Lakes a year ago.
Forensic pathologist Mario Scerri told the Court this morning that although Gunner Psaila had swallowed a copious amount of dirty, contaminated water, tests showed that he had died from hypothermia and not by drowning.
Dr Scerri was testifying in the case against Lieutenant Christian Vella, who was in charge of the training exercise, and Lance Bombardier Marvic Peregin, who was assisting Gunner Psaila's group.
The two are charged with the involuntary homicide of Gunner Psaila through negligence and committing a crime they were in duty bound to prevent.
Investigating police officer Supt. Carmelo Bartolo also testified saying that when he went to Chadwick Lakes with Magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera, the first thing he noticed was that it was an extremely cold day, so much so that it was difficult for him and the magistrate to communicate.
He said that when he spoke to Gunner Psaila’s mother at the hospital, she had told him that her son could not swim and that she believed he had told the army so.
Mr Bartolo said he had opened Matthew’ personal AFM file but there was nothing to indicate that he could not swim.
He said he had spoken to Lance Bombardier Peregin about the safety equipment - there was no diver on the scene during the exercise, no wetsuits and no life jackets.
The case continues
Matthew’s father Twanny, who was in the court room, broke down crying at one point during this morning’s sitting as Supt. Bartolo recalled the experience until Gunner Psaila was transferred to an ambulance.