The two soldiers accused of murdering Ivorian migrant Lassana Cisse in a racially motivated crime

Two Maltese soldiers have pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder charges after they participated in a race hate drive-by shooting targeting African migrants in Hal Far, southern Malta.   

The charges, which include racial hatred and committing a racially motivated crime, carry a maximum of life in prison.

The two men, Lorin Scicluna and Francesco Fenech, were accused of killing an Ivorian migrant, Lassana Cisse and attempting to kill Mohammed Jallow from the Gambia and Ibrahim Bah from Guinea (Conakry) last month. Both Mohammed and Ibrahim survived the horrific racist attack with serious injuries. They are said to be recovering in hospital.  

The death of Ivorian Lassana Cisse is believed to be Malta’s first racially motivated killing amid Europe’s current debate over migration.

Mohammed Bah from Gambia and Ibrahim Bah from Guinea survived the horrific racist attack with serious injuries

Maltese political leaders and Catholic Church officials have been speaking out against growing hate speech against migrants, particularly on social media.

Soon after two Maltese soldiers were arrested in connection with the murder, Malta’s Archbishop Scicluna said: “Great sadness, shock and shame as we confront the true evil face of the xenophobia, hatred and sense of impunity that poison a number of us Maltese.”

Cisse’s family told Lovin Malta about their shock and disbelief that Cisse had been killed by two soldiers when he had just wanted to work in Malta and raise money for his family.

He leaves behind a wife and two children.

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