Man remanded in custody for Facebook comments threatening police officers

The man had written that people were right to drive over police officers, after reading an article about the number of speeding tickets dished out by the police

Thousands had attended a demonstration of solidarity with the police after the attack on PC Simon Schembri earlier this year
Thousands had attended a demonstration of solidarity with the police after the attack on PC Simon Schembri earlier this year

Maintenance worker Josef Vincenti, 31, was remanded in custody on Wednesday after being accused in court of having made threatening posts on Facebook.

Vincenti was accused of having, on 10 September, publicly incited persons to commit a crime and to break the law, of having used a social network to threaten to commit a crime, and of having used threatening words or behaviour with the intention of inciting violence against a group of people.

He was also charged with breaching the conditions of his conditional release and of being a relapse.

The man was arraigned in court after posting a series of Facebook comments under a news article stating that police officers were dishing out 26 speeding tickets an hour using hand-held speed cameras.

Referring to the recent attack on police officer Simon Schembri, Vincenti wrote that “people were right to police officers and drive off”.

Vincenti pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against him.

His defence told the court, presided by Magistrate Yana Micallef Stafrace, that the charges would have to be analysed within the context of the Facebook posts in question.

No request for bail was made, and the accused was remanded in custody.

Lawyer Victor Bugeja was legal aid for the accused.

Inspector Roxane Tabone prosecuted.

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