Xarabank was ordered not to air an interview with Liam Debono last week, with a court saying that the eight-minute segment could end up influencing jurors if the teenager ended up facing a trial by jury.

But according to Peppi Azzopardi, that legal argument “is an insult to the court itself.”

The Xarabank presenter tells Times Talk that the ruling “implies that the court is influenced by television”.

“God forbid jurors can be influenced by a television show,” Mr Azzopardi exclaims, insisting that while his long-running Friday night show was out to change perspectives, he did not expect anyone to base their opinions “on what they see on TV”.

Mr Debono stands accused of the attempted murder of police officer Simon Schembri, in relation to a hit-and-run incident which happened last May.

Mr Schembri, who lost an arm after being run over,  has since made several appearances on local media, with a foundation he launched also receiving widespread coverage.

He was also due to be interviewed by Xarabank, but pulled the plug on his appearance - and asked the courts to block the TV show's plans - after discovering that Mr Debono was also to be interviewed.

Despite widespread criticism, Mr Azzopardi is standing by his decision to invite the young Mr Debono, 17, onto Xarabank.

“We’ve made him out to be a monster,” he says as he reads out some examples of the hateful messages people have posted about Mr Debono on social media. “I know I'll get flak for saying this. But we cannot, as a society, just lock somebody up and throw away the key. This is a person.”

Watch the full interview with Peppi Azzopardi in the above video.