Ħal Far drive-by murder: Two soldiers accused with murder still not suspended

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The two soldiers who pleaded not guilty to the racially-motivated murder of an Ivorian national and the attempted murder of two other migrants at Ħal Far, are yet to be suspended from the Armed Forces of Malta.

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Newsbook.com.mt contacted AFM inquiring whether the two men, Lorin Scicluna and Francesco Fenech, both accused of murdering Lassana Cisse Souleymane and the attempted murder of a man from Guinea and another one from Gambia, have been suspended from the Armed Forces of Malta.

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An AFM spokesperson said that the two are under an AFM internal investigation and that the two have not been suspended, saying that ‘there’s nothing yet’. The two men were recruited recently with one recruited in 2018 and the other a year earlier.

On Sunday morning the two were arraigned in court with a 4-page long charge sheet. The charges included the racially-motivated murder and attempted murder charges,  they were also charged with a hit and run that happened earlier on 1 February. The two men were also charged with inciting hatred, firing shots in a public place with an unlicensed firearm and making use of a car without registration plates as well as committing a crime they were supposed to prevent.

Scicluna was separately charged with breaking probation orders.

Prosecuting Officer Keith Arnaud told the court that Scicluna was arrested on Friday morning while Fenech was arrested on Saturday morning. Further, a third person who was arrested during the investigations but was found not to be linked to the case was arraigned on Sunday. The third individual was charged on separate charges and given bail since he had fully cooperated with the police. The individual is thought to have spilled the beans, as the prosecuting officer told the court that ‘he had chosen to speak and thus the murder investigation was sped up due to his cooperation’.