The Malta Independent 9 December 2018, Sunday

Updated: Michael Farrugia 'justifies domestic violence' – PN; Minister replies

Wednesday, 3 January 2018, 13:40 Last update: about 12 months ago

The Nationalist Party said that comments made by Home Minister Michael Farrugia justify domestic violence.

The PN issued a statement following remarks made by the minister after the resignation of assistance police commissioner Mario Tonna, following a report filed against him by his partner. Farrugia said that Tonna worked long hours.

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The statement, signed by deputy leader David Agius and home affairs spokesman Beppe Fenech Adami, said that Farrugia implied that working long hours justified domestic abuse. This is an insult to all the victims of such crime, the PN said.

It is unacceptable that a police officer commits domestic violence, but it is even more serious that Farrugia, who is politically responsible for the corps, tries to justify this by linking the abuse to long hours of work.

The Labour government had given Tonna two promotions, and is now trying to justify what he did, the PN said.

In reply, Minister Farrugia said that he is against all forms of domestic violence and is sorry that his comments were interpreted otherwise.

He said he was the minister who moved the ratification of the Istanbul convention that prevents and tackles domestic violence. When he was responsible for the Foundation for Welfare Services, he had worked to expand services offered.

An agreement was also reached with NGOs who take care of women and children who are victims of home abuse, he said.

All this shows that the minister does not in any way justify domestic violence, as the PN statement implied.

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