The nurses’ union is requesting 24/7 prison security for Abner Aquilina to safeguard nurses during his treatment at Mount Carmel Hospital.
Aquilina is awaiting trial for the rape and murder of Paulina Dembska in January 2022. The union reacted after a court decision upheld the defense’s request to relocate Aquilina from the forensic unit, managed by prison authorities, back to a regular ward at the hospital.
Aquilina’s lawyers argued that the forensic unit lacked adequate care, contrary to a prior court ruling for regular ward treatment. Aquilina pleads not guilty to the murder and his legal team seeks an insanity declaration.
The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses (MUMN) President, Paul Pace, expressed shock at the court’s decision and demanded prompt information from the hospital about measures to ensure safety while nursing Aquilina.
MUMN strongly advocates for continuous prison guard presence at Mount Carmel Hospital and reserves the right for immediate industrial action if nurses perceive threats to their safety from the patient.
Recent court testimony revealed Aquilina’s disturbing behavior, as he used vulgar language and claimed responsibility for the murder while officers searched his cell. Fellow inmates reported that Aquilina repeatedly boasted about the crime. This situation raises concerns about healthcare workers’ safety in his vicinity.