The Malta Independent 24 January 2022, Monday

HSBC heist plea deal has caused ‘several resignations’ in police force, union says

Friday, 14 January 2022, 14:30 Last update: about 9 days ago

The Malta Police Union has hit out at the decision to grant a plea deal to Darren Debono in connection with the failed HSBC heist from 2010, saying that it has led to morale in the force falling and to a number of resignations as well.

The union filed a judicial protest against the Attorney General after Debono’s charges related to the attempted murder of police officers who responded to the heist were dropped in return for a testimony against co-accused Vincent Muscat.

The plea deal was reached only hours before Muscat’s trial by jury was set to begin.

In the protest, the union expressed its “worry, confusion and disgust” over the decision to offer a plea bargain to a person who had fired directly at the members of the force.

The union said that the move was a “slap in the face” for its members and for members of the police force in general, adding that the message delivered through this deal what that they do not care that officers are ready to put their lives at stake to fight criminality.

“It is easy to sit behind a desk… and drop attempted murder charges with the stroke of a pen,” the union said before noting the effect the episode had on those involved.

A member of the police who was involved in the shootout had requested not to testify in the trial by jury as he was still suffering from PTSD as a result of the incident.

They reiterated an earlier invitation to the AG to participate in the next shoot-out that happens.

The union also said that the deal may lead to recruits having second thoughts about joining the police, and said that it would be holding the AG responsible for past and future damages incurred as a result of the action.

  • don't miss