The Malta Independent 21 April 2024, Sunday
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Police Superintendent requests court to halt appointment of Assistant Commissioners

Kevin Schembri Orland Saturday, 6 May 2017, 09:43 Last update: about 8 years ago

A police superintendent this morning filed for a warrant of prohibitory injunction to halt the appointment of new assistant police commissioners, claiming that his right of fair hearing was breached by the Public Service Commission.

The court provisionally upheld the request.

Lawyers Jason Azzopardi, Kris Busietta and Julian Farrugia, representing Superintendent Carmelo Bartolo, said that a call for applications for the post of Assistant Commissioner was issued on 16 October 2016.

They said that on 17 January this year, the results of the process were published, and Superintendent Bartolo placed 15 th out of 21 candidates, after the selection board, comprising of Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar, Josie Brincat and Joseph Mangani conducted the selection process.

The Superintendent then filed a petition before the Public Service Commission on 29 January 2017, and put forward his complaints. It is here, that the Superintendent claims that his rights to equality of arms and fair hearing were breached.

On 27 February 2017, the Superintendent was asked to provide a list of witnesses to substantiate his petition. This list had to be sent within two days. He claims to have done so. The court request read that the Superintendent was then informed by the Commission that a sitting would be scheduled so that his testimony could be put forward.

On 14 March, the court application read, a sitting was held. The Superintendent requested a breakdown of all the candidates marks  who had applied for the interview for the assistant commissioner post.  He claims to have done so in order to help strengthen his petition. This, he claims, was denied to him, and claims that transparency was obscured by the Commission.

He also claims that during the Public Service Commission sittings, while having asked the Superintendent to present a list of witnesses so that they could be heard, did not do so. “In the two sittings held, the only opportunity the Superintendent had was to again verbally explain his complaint.”

The applicant states that he was put in apposition where he was not able to make the best submissions, and said that he PSC made certain assertions made by the Selection Board that are subjective. In addition, he states that requests made to the Commission so that the best defence and submissions can be made were denied without valid reason, they argued.

He said that on 3 May 2017, he was informed that his petition was denied, and that the Commission considered this to be case closed. 

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