Witness recalls shocking moment policeman vanished underneath Liam Debono's car

A young witness described to the court how 17-year-old Liam Debono drove straight towards PC Simon Schembri after refusing to hand over his ID card

Liam Debono being driven away from the court house on the day he was arraigned
Liam Debono being driven away from the court house on the day he was arraigned

A young witness has described to the court how she saw 17-year-old Liam Debono mow down police officer Simon Schembri, after he stopped him in Luqa and asked Debono for his ID card.

The young woman described how PC Schembri had dismounted his motorcycle and signalled to the Mercedes behind him to stop.

He lifted his visor to speak to the driver and asked him for his ID card. The driver refused to hand it over, shaking his head.

The constable went to his motorcycle to use the radio before returning to the car, which had been moving slowly.

The policeman raised his arms to tell the driver to stop, but the car ran him over and then picked up speed.

"The officer was mowed down. I didn’t see him any more. I saw something fly, it was a glove which someone picked up later," the witness said, adding that she phoned 112 to seek assistance.

The officer was mowed down. I didn’t see him any more. I saw something fly, it was a glove Young eye witness

A recording of that call was played out to the witness. The caller was a female who was sobbing uncontrollably, in a highly agitated state. Yet amid the sobs one could clearly make out “Ghadhom kemm qatlu pulizija.” (They have just killed a policeman)

The witness was testifying in court on Wednesday morning via video-conference, as part of the compilation of evidence against 17-year-old Liam Debono.

The youngster stands accused of the attempted murder of traffic policeman Simon Schembri on May 15.

The policeman had stopped a Mercedes driven by Debono for a seat belt infraction when Debono allegedly drove at the officer, knocking him under the car where he was dragged for around 400 metres before breaking free.

Debono was arrested a short while later and was arraigned on 16 May.

PC Schembri, 48, lost an arm and was critically injured in the incident but is now out of danger and recovering.

The court on Wednesday was also informed that court expert Keith Cutajar had found that Liam Debono's mobile phone was password-protected. He needed the password from the accused to be able to carry out his brief.

The defence formally objected because the accused was not obliged to bring forward any evidence in the criminal proceedings.

The court said that while it understood the argument of the defence, it was authorising the expert to try to obtain data.

Inspectors PierGuido Saliba, Fabian Fleri and Chantelle Casha prosecuted. Lawyers Franco Debono and Amadeus Cachia were defence counsel. Lawyer Arthur Azzopardi appeared parte civile.

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