Church bells tolled, the band played funeral marches, many wept openly and a whole village gathered round to mourn one of its children as the police constable who was brutally murdered in cold blood, while returning from a night's duty at Luqa Police Station, was yesterday (Sunday 21st March 1999) laid to rest, in full honours.
The entire village of Tarxien and the Police Corps led by Police Commissioner George Grech, yesterday paid their last tribute to their friend and colleague, P.C. 525 - MARK FARRUGIA (24 years), who was murdered in the early hours of Saturday morning outside his parents' residence in Tarxien.
All the police officers, wearing a black arm band, were waiting their colleague for the last time. The uniform could not keep some of them from shedding tears in front of the coffin of PC 525 Mark Farrugia.
The coffin was carried to the Church by 6 policemen in a funeral corteo in which the Police Band played funeral marches. Mass was concelebrated by Tarxien Parish Priest Rev. Carm Mercieca assisted by Police Corps Chaplain Fr. Raniero Zammit. People lined both sides of the streets through which the funeral corteo passed and occassionally burst into applause.
The President of Malta, H.E. Dr. Ugo Mifsud Bonnici led the congregation, which included Deputy Prime Minister, Prof. Guido De Marco (who represented the Prime Minister) and the Minister for Home Affairs, Dr. Tonio Borg.
PC 525 Mark Farrugia was killed by a shotgun, the commonest firearm available in Malta. "The way the murder was carried out makes it evident they were not just trying to intimidate him into silence. They wanted him dead!" said a police source. "The question remains: what could a 24-year old policeman who joined the police force less than four years ago have done to deserve dying this way?"
Within hours from this homicide and after thorough investigations led by the Police Commissioner Grech himself, the Police have succeeded in bringing to justice the person responsible for this murder. P.C. Etienne Carter (21 years) has been arrainged before the Courts and accused of the murder of PC 525 Mark Farrugia by shooting him in the back.
Ex P.C. Etienne Carter was later found guilty in a trial by jury for the constable's murder and was sentenced to years in prison.
Special thanks to Malta Police Photographic Section for the photos.
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last modified: October 2002