‘Oh well, it can’t be helped’: RIU officer recounts Liam Debono’s reaction to having potentially killed policeman

The charges brought against 17-year-old Liam Debono have now risen to 47 • Simon Schembri to testify next month

Liam Debono us accused of attempted murder and 46 other crimes
Liam Debono us accused of attempted murder and 46 other crimes

“Oh well, it can’t be helped.” These were the words said by young driver Liam Debono to officers who informed him that he might have just run over and killed a police officer.

Liam Debono, 17, is accused of attempted murder of PC Simon Schembri and 46 other charges, after dragging the policeman for a distance under his car. Schembri had stopped him over a seatbelt infraction, and ended up losing an arm in the incident, narrowly escaping with his life.

Debono had already been arraigned and denied bail after running Schembri over.

This morning the list of charges against Debono was resubmitted with a number of new charges, including hit and run and driving the Mercedes in question, which should have been garaged, with no insurance and a false number plate.

Defence lawyer Franco Debono said that as the proceedings were starting again, he would be requesting bail again, but the request was denied.

This morning magistrate Joe Mifsud heard the control room police officer who took Schembri’s call describe how she heard the officer ask for his licence and then the car drive off.

Inspector Chantelle Casha prosecuting summoned a number of police officers involved in the arrest to testify.

“I told him ‘do you know you might have killed him?’ Sergeant Christopher Debrincat from the RIU said. “ He replied ‘heqq, m’hemmx xtaghmel’ (It can’t be helped).” 

Asked if he felt the man under the car the accused had said that he had and had swerved right and left to try and dislodge him. 

PC Luke Ciangura from the RIU, who was on duty with the sergeant said the same. “He showed no remorse.”

Debono cross-examined and asked Ciangura whether he had insulted the accused. He denied doing so or threatening to kill him, twisting his hands with his handcuffs and tasering the accused.

Inspector Fabian Fleri interrupted the questioning to point out that the man had been examined by a doctor upon his arrest, and that no taser marks were seen.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Mario Scerri took the witness stand next. He had examined PC Schembri as he was brought in.

“He was intubated. I noticed full thickness friction burns on his chest. His clothes were burnt off by friction and also his rib bones were visible. His hand was de-gloved, requiring an above the wrist amputation as it couldn’t be saved. They were very grievous injuries.”

Had there not been immediate intervention the officer would have lost his life, the doctor said.

The case continues tomorrow. Simon Schembri to testify next month.

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