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Too many celebratory drinks land ex-convict back in prison on charges of attacking police

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A recently-released ex-convict who got drunk while out celebrating the fact he had found a job, is back in custody after allegedly attacking a police officer in St. Julian’s.

Mohamed M. Mahdi, a 39-year-old Libyan man who has at least three previous convictions for aggravated theft, was arraigned before magistrate Victor Axiak on Monday.

Inspector Zachary Zammit charged the man with threatening a police officer, as well as with assaulting and slightly injuring the policeman near Spinola Gardens in St. Julian’s at around 3:20pm on Saturday afternoon.

Mahdi was further charged with being drunk and unable to take care of himself in a public place and loitering in a public area while drinking from a glass bottle of wine. Mahdi is also facing additional charges relating to his continued belligerent and offensive behaviour towards two other police officers, while he was being held at the St. Julian’s police station.

A plea of not guilty was entered. Mahdi’s defence lawyer Christopher Chircop requested bail, arguing that the majority of the charges related to contraventions, not crimes and that the court had not seen evidence of the victim’s alleged injuries at this stage.

The defendant had only recently been released from the Corradino Correctional Facility after spending over three years in prison, and had been out with some friends, celebrating the beginning of a new life for them, as had found employment. “He drank a bit and this incident happened,” said the lawyer, stressing the man’s ties to Malta and intention to start an alcohol rehabilitation program.

Chricop asked the court to consider bail for the defendant, adding that the man’s employer was also willing to act as his guarantor.

The court, however, denied bail at this stage, saying it was not confident that the accused was capable of obeying the bail conditions that it would have to impose, in particular that of not committing another voluntary offence whilst on bail.

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