The 22 year-old Monaco resident who was arrested and charged with animal cruelty in May this year was absent from the court in Paris on Tuesday when his case came to trial.

The defendant is currently in the psychiatry department of the Princess Grace Hospital. After his arrest he was suspended from the prestigious ESCE International Business School in Paris.

His lawyer asked for a postponement of the trial and a psychiatric report, but both requests were refused by the court.

As Monaco Daily News reported on May 10, Arnaud Postifferi beat his eight month-old beagle puppy for 20 minutes after it chewed the battery of an e-cigarette. Neighbours recorded the dog’s pitiful cries and the police arrived to find the accused blaming the dog’s death on an accident in the building’s underground garage.

The case has attracted wide interest from the media and animal rights organisations in France and Monaco, and somewhat unusually, the culprit’s full name has been published by several media outlets.

The Paris public prosecutor called for two years in prison, suspended, compensation for the civil parties that first brought the case, and an obligation to live at a specified address plus a ban on keeping animals. The prosecutor also requested the advertising of the verdict in the press, to be paid for by the guilty party.

The tribunal will announce its verdict in September.

FILE PHOTO: A young beagle, courtesy of the Stéphane Lamart Association