Seven migrants were on Thursday remanded in custody after denying their involvement in a riot involving a group of some 40 who caused a disturbance at the Marsa detention centre on Tuesday. 

The court heard how the seven men were the masterminds behind the riot and had been identified as the people who were instigating other migrants in the same centre to cause trouble. 

The migrants, aged between 16 and 29, pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against them. At least two of them were in court barefoot while one was still wearing a hospital gown after having been taken there for treatment. Six of them are from Sudan while one is from Somalia. 

Police Inspector Paul Camilleri told Magistrate Josette Demicoli how they were identified by security officers as having been the ones who first scaled an internal gate and gained access to a common part before urging others to join them in their demand for immediate freedom. 

The court turned down a request for bail and they were remanded in custody. 

Lawyer Martin Fenech appeared for the men as legal aid.

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