The Malta Independent 25 May 2024, Saturday
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Police Commissioner a puppet who serves Muscat’s government instead of the people – Simon Busuttil

Julian Bonnici Tuesday, 31 January 2017, 19:41 Last update: about 8 years ago

"The police are meant to serve the public, but who do they protect? The people or the government of Joseph Muscat," Leader of the Opposition Simon Busutill told parliament during his intervention on the proposed legislation which will reform the Police Force.

Dr Busuttil went on to say that the current Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar is a government puppet who refuses to investigate the numerous scandals plaguing the current administration.

When addressing the proposed legislation, which will see reform to the Police Force, the leader of the opposition began by saying that this was meant to be a good and proud occasion for the police force and parliament.

Instead the legislation will only make the current situation worse since it will only give more power to the government in order for the police force to serve their interests.

"It goes completely against our beliefs that the police needs to be autonomous and serve the interests of the people."

The proposal will see the commissioner appointed for a period of five years instead of the permanent post the role currently provides.

Dr Busuttil claims that will remove any autonomy the commissioner held and will become a puppet of the government. It will also significantly diminish his ability to create a coherent long term vision for the Police Force.

"The Police Force is made of dedicated officers, who work hard and risk their lives every day, and the law should respect the good work they do".

He did stress that the current situation is not perfect and certainly requires reform , but the PN would have wanted to see the commissioner's autonomy increase.

Rather, the PN proposes, that the Police Commissioner be appointed for a permanent period and be selected only through a two thirds parliamentary majority.

The fact that there have been five police commissioners within the last four years shows the serious issues the police force has faced under the current administration, he said.

The previous commissioner, John Rizzo, was respected by the officers and held no partisan belief, he said.

On the other hand, he explained, the current commissioner Lawrence Cutajar's claim to fame is a facebook post were he expresses his admiration for Prime Minister Muscat.

It was of little surprise that the public has lost faith with the police given that the current commissioner is a government puppet and a majority of crimes are going on unnoticed.

"Four people had to resign until you found your puppet," he said

Dr Busuttil pointed to the recent spike in thefts and car-bombs, saying that nothing is being done and no concrete investigations are taking place.

The situation has become too politicized with none of the recent scandals ever being investigated by the police.

"This does not reflect a democratic nation that forms part of the EU" he said.

In France, Presidential nominee is under investigation involving the employment of his wife, he said, whereas in Malta the numerous scandals  involving a number of ministers namely that of the Panama Papers, Edward Caruana, Gaffarena, the medical visas scandal go unnoticed by the Police Force.

"These allegations are destroying the integrity of the country...the police are meant to serve the public, but who do they protect? The people or the government of Joseph Muscat" he said

He then pointed towards the Panama Papers scandal again saying it was "an open and shut case of money laundering".

The FIAU, he said, has done nothing inspite of the fact that it is a public organization paid by taxpayers money.

The report of their investigation has yet to see the light of the day, and when it ended up at the Police Force, the commissioner and the FIAU head both resigned.

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