The Malta Independent 21 May 2024, Tuesday
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Watch: Resignation of Police Chief and AG not 'politically, legally, or morally' warranted - PM

Julian Bonnici Wednesday, 8 November 2017, 11:29 Last update: about 8 years ago

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat told members of the Occupy Justice movement that he does not believe that the resignation of both the Police Commissioner and the Attorney General is "politically, legally, or morally" warranted.

The women, who had asked for a meeting with Muscat after camping for four days outside the Prime Minister's office in Valletta, called on the PM to listen to the demands made by Civil Society Network, calling for the removal of Attorney General Peter Grech and Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar, and for them to be replaced by a two-thirds parliamentary majority.

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"Our country is bleeding, our values are dying," a representative of the group told Muscat.

OPM Spokesperson Kurt Farrugia has since tweeted: "An "autocratic" Prime Minister which invites protesters to discuss the issues they are protesting about in his own office in the presence of three ministers. had nothing more to add to a pre-written statement. @MaltaGov open for discussions," indicating that the private meeting between the PM and the representatives of Occupy Justice only lasted a few moments, in spite of Muscat's willingness to further the discussion without the media present. 

In fact, the representatives were seen leaving Castille a few minutes after the media were asked to leave.

The group condemned "the attacks [they] experienced from people close to [the Prime Minister]," in a clear reference to former GWU President and current ministerial consultant Tony Zarb's labelling of the women as traitors and prostitutes.

This, they said, was evident of the culture of demonization with regards to those who spoke out against the government.

"This is a small taste of what Daphne Caruana Galizia experienced. Daphne was demonised and some people even celebrated her death," the representative said.

The group, who wore T-shirts with the last words uploaded by slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, told the Prime Minister that he was responsible for the division in the country, which is a result of the amoralization of society brought on by the government's money-centric approach.

“It is not enough to have money in our pockets. You need to take real action and begin rebuilding the country’s faith in these institutions.”

The PM did agree that the country's institutions were in need of change and pointed to his party's electoral pledge to call a constitutional convention as evidence of his willingness to do so.

However, he disagreed that the country was divided, and insisted that he has repeatedly condemned the violent murder of Caruana Galizia.

“She was my biggest critic and I assure you that I want this murder to be solved as much as anyone,” Muscat said.

A group of around 150 individuals, including PD MP Godfrey Farrugia, gathered in Castille Square after the meeting to support the group, and chanted "Malta Taghna Lkoll" and "Gustizzja ghal Galizia," later singing the national anthem.

The meeting was also attended by Minister Owen Bonnici, Minister Helena Dalli, and PS Julia Farrugia Portelli.

 


 

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