A court in Malta heard details of the country's first racially-motivated murder as the compilation of evidence against two Maltese soldiers continued in Valletta on Tuesday, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
Lorin Scicluna and Francesco Fenech, 22 and 21 respectively, both soldiers with the Armed Forces of Malta, were accused of the willful homicide of Lassana Cisse Souleymane. They are pleading not guilty.
Souleymane, from Cote d'Ivoire, died on the spot in April when he was shot in the head by the men as they drove past him on a secluded road in the South of the island. Two other black men were also shot by the pair, but survived with serious injuries.
In addition to the shooting, the two men have also been charged with the attempted murder of another black man whom they allegedly ran over on the same road in the days before the murder.
Souleymane's killing has sent shockwaves throughout the Mediterranean island which makes much of its reputation for hospitality. Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat condemned the murder, saying that the men's actions did not represent the ethos of the Armed Forces of Malta and that "Malta is a safe place for everyone and it should remain so."