Man held on Polish student murder, referred to MCH / Malta News Briefing – Monday 3 January 2021

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1745- Latest News update

Times of Malta says that Police had to stop interrogating their lead suspect in a Sliema murder case after he claimed the devil had been manipulating his thoughts.  

MaltaToday says that femicide remains prevalent within Maltese society and the authorities are not doing enough to get to the root of the problem, a leading women’s rights activist said.

Newsbook says that The German government has placed Malta on the list of high risk areas

TVM says that the Supt of Public Charmaine Gauci has stated that before the whole world is vaccinated we cannot say with certainty that the pandemic has ended.

Updated 1233 – Mid-Day Briefing

Man held on Polish student murder: The brutal killing of a Polish student, Paulina Dembska, 29, continues to dominate the press this morning, with reports suggesting that the police believe a woman murdered in Sliema on Sunday had no link to her killer. Various media outlets have claimed that the major suspect in the crime is Abner George Aquilina, a 20-year-old from Żejtun. Meanwhile, the police have suspended their interrogation of the suspect of Sunday morning’s Sliema murder after he was referred to Mount Carmel mental hospital. Dembska’s body was found below Sliema promenade by a passer-by yesterday before 6:30am. An outpour of grief has dominated social media portals, with many describing the killing as yet another femicide to hit the Maltese Islands.

Police officer requests not to testify on HSBC heist: The Criminal Court has been asked to decide on a request by a former police officer who was shot at during the infamous 2010 HSBC hold up, citing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder caused by the incident. This week was meant to see the commencement of the trial by jury of convicted hitman Vincent Muscat, il-Koħħu who is indicted over his role in the attempted robbery. Muscat has already secured a plea bargain for his role in the Caruana Galizia murder and a presidential pardon with regard the   2015 murder of lawyer Carmel Chircop.

Covid-19 Update: 812 new Covid-19 cases were reported on Monday, health authorities said, while 240 persons recovered. Active cases now stand at 13,260. 122 patients are currently hospitalised, seven of whom in ITU. Meanwhile, the German government has placed Malta on the list of high-risk areas. This was announced by the Robert Koch Institute, the main agency of the German Government responsible for disease prevention and control. The reason behind the inclusion of Malta, together with Italy, Canada and San Marino, is that the four countries reported more than 100 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 citizens during the past week.

Morning Briefing

PN says Robert Abela is complicit in Vitals scandal

The PN on Sunday reiterated its pledge to renationalise three hospitals after an Indian contractor said it will withhold contract details due to possible political controversy. “The more details emerge about the corrupt hospitals deal, the more we can confirm that the Vitals contract is rotten,” the party said in a statement. It was reacting to a story broken by Malta Today, with the outlet reporting that Indian engineering giant Shapoorji Pallonji (Malta) is contesting an €8.39 million tax bill under an invoice Shapoorji says was left unpaid by Vitals Global Healthcare. The PN added that “Robert Abela and the Labour government are ignoring the facts. They’re passing money through a corrupt and untenable deal. With this attitude, they continue being complicit in the theft of milions from the pockets of Malta and Gozo.”

Investigations on Sliema murder ongoing

A man, 20 from Żejtun, has been arrested by the police in connection with the muder of a polish woman, who was found dead in Ġnien Indipendenza in Sliema on Sunday morning. The police arrested the man near the Balluta parish church, with the national broadcaster reporting that he created in a commotion inside, even overturning chairs on the altar.

Covid-19 Update

Two men, aged 52 and 78, have died while Covid positive, the health authorities said on Sunday. The number of new cases dropped to 747 while 279 people made a recovery. The total number of known active cases stands at 12,688. However, the number of patients are being treated at Mater Dei Hospital increased by 11 over the previous day to 110, of which seven remain in intensive care.

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