The Malta Independent 21 April 2019, Sunday

Carmelo Abela ‘strongly’ denies ministerial interference, questions inspector’s credibility

Wednesday, 29 November 2017, 21:31 Last update: about 2 years ago

Former home affairs minister Carmelo Abela has strongly denied interfering in investigations carried out by former police inspector and sacked FIAU official Jonathan Ferris.

Ferris, who claims he was unfairly dismissed because he was investigating serious crimes involving top government officials, has given a number of interviews, in which he described Malta as a corrupt country and claimed that there had been political interference by a minister.

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Speaking to LovinMalta this evening, Ferris claimed that then home affairs minister Carmelo Abela (now foreign affairs minister) had applied undue pressure related to an investigation he was leading and which ultimately prevented him from carrying out his duties.

In response to this, Abela issued a statement to expand on the matter, saying that the defrauded party in the case, meaning the victim, had filed a complaint with his ministry due to a lack of information being given to him by Ferris on how the case was progressing.

Abela questioned Ferris’ credibility.

“According to Mr Ferris, the pressure was because the Minister’s secretary sent an email to the then Inspector, and copying the Minister (then responsible of Home Affairs), asking what progress had been achieved in a fraud case he was investigating,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The request was filed, in writing, after a complaint made by the defrauded party in this case, to the Minister.  The defrauded person complained that the Police were not giving any information about the case in which he was a victim.

As remarked by the journalist reporting the case, the request for such information clearly falls within the Minister’s remit, especially when faced with a complaint, and can in no way be misconstrued as undue pressure or interference, as Mr Ferris incorrectly concluded.

Minister Abela strongly denies any interference. The result of this “revelation” goes a long way to define the credibility of Mr Ferris and his recent statements,” the statement read.

 

Abela must resign - Delia

PN Leader Adrian Delia spoke about the LovinMalta report in Parliament this evening.

Speaking during adjournment time, Delia said “black on white evidence” had just surfaced on Minister Abela, who should resign immediately.

“Information has arrived to me, that in the month of May, emails from the ministry of home affairs and security has started to ask Ferris about a particular case,” Delia said, adding that the minister was later added to the email thread and “continued to ask certain questions.”

Ferris asserted that he could not answer such questions due to data protection.

“These are facts, not allegations, but facts,” Delia said, adding that the country has a minister in government who is intervening in police matters.

“There is only one consequence to this. The minister must resign immediately,” Delia said, adding that the political responsibility fell onto the PM’s shoulders. 

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