Printer-friendly version

FKNK council member sentenced for assault


CABS media officer struck in the face and verbally abused

David Briffa (2nd from right in dark shirt), council member FKNK, is restrained by a security guard after attacking CABS media officer Axel HirschfeldDavid Briffa (2nd from right in dark shirt), council member FKNK, is restrained by a security guard after attacking CABS media officer Axel HirschfeldValletta/Bonn: Wednesday, 20 October 2010. FKNK council member and assistant general secretary David Briffa was today found guilty by the courts for insulting and hitting CABS media officer Mr Axel Hirschfeld. He was fined €50 for each offence.

On 21 September, BirdLife Malta and CABS volunteers searched the Mizieb woodland and found the remains of over 80 dead birds, some of which were freshly shot. The search was conducted on the anniversary of the find of over 200 dead protected birds in the woodland last year. During the search the conservationists were approached by David Briffa who shouted insults and obscenities at the group. Mr Briffa then approached Mr Hirschfeld and hit him on the face. The incident was caught on film by CABS volunteers and a TV crew producing a documentary for the Bayerischer Rundfunk TV station.

A report was placed with Qawra police station and Axel Hirschfeld pressed charges, with Inspector Paul Bond prosecuting. The video evidence was presented in court and David Briffa was today sentenced for using obscene language in public, assaulting without injury, and insulting Axel Hirschfeld.

BirdLife Malta and CABS are keen to see what disciplinary action will now be taken against David Briffa by the FKNK. David Briffa was also charged in 2007 for threatening journalists during the pro-hunting rally in Valletta. The case was dropped as the witnesses (journalists) did not testify at the court. However the witnesses claimed that they never have received the court summons. An appeal that same year was rejected although the court accepted that it was not proven that the journalists were contacted, or that any attempts were made to contact them.

Another CABS member, 27 year old Fiona Burrows from Nottingham, was also attacked on the same day by two hunters in Mizieb A police report was filed and charges pressed. CABS are awaiting a court summons.


Read more local Malta media coverage (and readers' comments) below:

Malta Today: "Prominent militant hunting lobbyist fined €100 for assault"

Times of Malta: "FKNK council member fined for punching CABS official"