The Malta Independent 4 August 2021, Wednesday

‘Do not fall to Joseph Muscat and Robert Abela's pressure’, Repubblika warns police commissioner

Giuseppe Attard Tuesday, 20 July 2021, 19:44 Last update: about 15 days ago

Repubblika President Robert Aquilina has called on Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa not to fall for the political pressure exerted upon him by former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his successor Robert Abela, and urged him to be the commissioner to “break the chain of corruption.” 

Speaking in a protest outside the police’s headquarters in Floriana, Aquilina reignited the fight for justice by stating that “this is the building where the Maltese and Gozitan population can live serenely knowing that justice served is the justice that is deserved” 

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Aquilina stressed that in the recent years, more specifically since the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, the amount of obscenities that have occurred within the police’s ranks are too much. 

“How can one not be disgusted and angered that criminals are using the police badge as their safety net?”, Aquilina said. 

Aquilina then stated that “there is no exaggeration in stating that once Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated, the police official in charge of her murder investigation was married to a minister of a corrupt government.” 

This is a reference to Silvio Valletta, who at the time was married to Minister Justyne Caruana.  He was later ousted off the case after a court battle by the Caruana Galizia family, and was later found to have close connections with Yorgen Fenech – the man charged with masterminding Caruana Galizia’s murder. 

Aquilina said that certain police officials who were in charge of upholding justice, were “going abroad to see football games, eating and drinking with criminals they are supposed to bring to justice” – again a reference to Valletta and his ties to Fenech. 

“Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa’s probation period is now up”, Aquilina said. 

“How is it possible that Gafa’ has not noticed that his friends are becoming friends with criminals and murderers?”, Aquilina questioned. 

“The contrast with the respect which the previous police commissioner John Rizzo had says it all […] he did not let any politician influence any of his decisions.” Aquilina stated. 

Rizzo served as police commissioner for a number of years, before stepping down in 2013 soon after the Labour Party came to power. 

Today’s circumstances are not the same as they were when Rizzo was police commissioner, Aquilina said. 

He also argued that since he was appointed by the Prime Minister as Police commissioner, and even though Gafa has overseen the rebranding of the police force, “we know that this is nothing except a shiny exterior to a hollow interior.” 

“The main component of the Police force is to bring criminals to justice and not only to look good on social media”, he said. 

“We must acknowledge the fact that in the past few months, important steps were made in the prosecution of Keith Schembri and others […] but one must ask how did we arrive at that point?”, Aquilina said before noting that had come about only because of the work done by former PN leader Simon Busuttil and not the police force. 

Aquilina then pointed out that since it took so long for the likes of Schembri and other to be brought to justice, according to Aquilina, there are still politicians and ex-politicians who are considered to be “untouchable”. 

“Gafa has two options before him: the path followed by the likes of ex-police commissioner Rizzo or that followed by Gafa’s predecessor Lawrence Cutajar”, Aquilina stated. 

In his closing statement, Aquilina warned Gafa not to fall to the pressure of Robert Abela or Joseph Muscat. 

“Gafa, please keep our hopes alive that you will be the commissioner to break the chains of corruption”, he concluded.


Photos: Miguela Xuereb - Newsbook

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