A migrant who jumped over a security barrier at the airport over a fortnight ago was given a suspended sentence after admitting to the wrongdoing upon arraignment on Friday.
Mohammed Abdi, a 21-year-old Somali national living at the Hangar Open Centre in Birżebbuġa, was arraigned days after the incident owing to the fact that he collapsed upon arrest and needed hospitalisation until he was discharged two days ago.
The circumstances of the case were explained by prosecuting Inspector Karl Roberts who said that on June 1, at around 6am, police were alerted by security officials at Malta International Airport about a man who jumped over the barrier near the boarding gate.
The man had no security pass and, therefore, accessed the restricted area unlawfully.
But, as soon as he was arrested, the man collapsed.
He was taken to hospital where he remained until he was discharged, explained the prosecution.
Police obtained a warrant of arrest and moved to execute it, arraigning the suspect on Friday.
After consulting his legal aid counsel, Joseph Brincat, the accused, who has subsidiary protection in Malta, pleaded guilty to entering a restricted zone without authorisation and a security pass or other form of temporary clearance.
The court, presided over by Magistrate Charmaine Galea, warned the accused about the consequences of his admission, explaining that the charges carried a maximum two-year term of imprisonment or a fine varying between €2,300 and €6,988.
After being given time to reconsider and after hearing both parties explain that the accused did not have the means to pay a fine, the court condemned him to a 12-month jail term suspended for two years.
“You have to understand that you cannot commit another offence. This is a chance given by the court not to go to prison,” warned the magistrate.
Inspectors Roxanne Tabone also prosecuted.