Caqnu held under arrest overnight about Montekristo incident

Charles Polidano, known as “iċ-Ċaqnu” was held under arrest last night after the accident which took place yesterday afternoon at his animal part at Montekristo in Ħal-Farrug, when a lioness slightly injured a five-year-old boy.

tvm.com.mt has learned that last night at Castille, a long meeting was held between Parliamentary Secretary Deborah Schembri, the Commissioner of Police, the Attorney General and the Chief Executive of MEPA about Mr Polidano’s case, and the accident at the animal park.

Last night, the Police were ordered to begin investigating the case by the AG and to interrogate Mr Polidano. The Police also spoke with a veterinarian and with the boy’s father. This newsroom is informed that for charges to be brought, the boy’s parents have to give their consent.

The incident happened after Mr Polidano is alleged to have opened the park illegally while the hunting fair was taking place at the same venue. This despite the fact that last November, MEPA closed down the park after a similar accident involving a five-year-old boy who was scratched by a tiger at the same park. TVM is informed that the last inspections at the park took place last week.

In a comment to TVM, Parliamentary Secretary for Planning and Simplification of the Administrative Process, Deborah Schembri, confirmed that a meeting was held last night between the Government, the Police and the Armed Forces to find a way forward so that there will no repeats of yesterday’s incident.

Replying to questions by the media, Dr Schembri said that the situaiton is not an easy one because one cannot just dismantle the animal park, as happens when illegal buildings are torn down. She said that some of the animals at the Montekristo park are protected, and the first thing which needs to be decided is what is to become of these animals.

MEPA said that on its part, inspections of the venue had continued to be made as recently as last week. It said, however, that what happened yesterday was due to the face that the owner allegedly opened the park illegally.