The Malta Independent 11 August 2022, Thursday

Repubblika demands that police commissioner call press conference and be held to account

Tuesday, 31 May 2022, 16:51 Last update: about 3 months ago

Repubblika is calling on Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa to, immediately, hold a press conference and be held to account for the police actions, or inaction, on certain situations.

Speaking outside the Police HQ, Repubblika President Robert Aquilina said that Commissioner Angelo Gafa and Assistant Commissioner Alexandra Mamo have not yet brought any results in the two years they have been "warming their seats at the depot and the FCID."

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He said that Repubblika is demanding that Gafa and Mamo call a press conference where all journalists will be invited and be given all the time to ask their questions.

"It cannot be that Gafa and Mamo remain with their mouths closed. They cannot continue to hide behind the excuse that an investigation is ongoing. We know that these pretend investigations are intentioned only to delay and forget," he said.

The Maltese people deserve replies and deserve to be given an account of what is happening, and what is not inside the depot and FCID, he said.

They demanded that Gafa and Mamo give an account on: "why an international arrest warrant wasn't issued against Ryan Schembri for 7 years... why was the cousin of Keith Schembri allowed to leave the country, allowed to go to other countries and escape justice. Who is responsible for this failure? How long will the investigation take? Will someone be taken to court?"

He went on to mention a number of other cases on which there are questions that must be answered.

He said that Iosif Galea was allowed to leave Malta despite the German police issuing a European Arrest Warrant. "Why wasn't this warrant executed in Malta. Why wasn't Galea arrested in our country? Why did they allow Galea to escape justice? Why did they, instead of arresting him, allow him to go on holiday with former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat? Why did it have to be the Italian police to do Gafa and Mamo's work? Even in this case, there is no need for a long investigation to arrive at the truth. The people who were responsible for enforcing that warrant can be counted on one hand. To only say that you are investigating is an excuse, it is only a way not to answer and not be accountable to the people who pay your wage."

"We want to know what happened to another investigation that they told us they were conducting and that we heard nothing more about, regarding former Assistant Commissioner Ian Abdilla. They suspended Abdilla and we heard nothing more."

"We also want to know what role the Commissioner had in the deal between the Attorney General and Darren Debono, known as it-Topo."

"We also want to know what happened to the international arrest warrants with regard to the owner and directors of Pilatus Bank," Repubblika asked.

"We also want answers as to why no steps were taken in court against police officials who were caught assisting criminals. Are investigations taking place? Why haven't they concluded?"

"In addition, what happened to the steps that had to be taken against those who tarnished the uniform?"

He also said that they want answers as to why "no steps were taken in court against those who committed corruption, because of which Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated. What are the police waiting for?"

The Maltese people should not be considered as inferior to people abroad, he said, explaining that abroad the police leaders in democratic countries face journalists and are accountable to the people who pay their wages.

The people have a right to be given an account from those who are meant to be administering justice in their name, he said.

"We declare from now that we know that a few years ago the government entered an amendment to the law which limits the way police can talk with journalists and inform the public about persons who are suspects or are under investigation. Without going into the merits of the genuinity of that amendment, I must say that this paragraph in the law does not stop the police from being accountable to the public. It is not true that the law does not allow the commissioner or police officials to answer questions from journalists and explain their actions or lack of actions. This is why we tell Gafa to stop using the law and fake investigations as a screen and have the courage to face immediately the legitimate questions of the Maltese journalists."

He said that even GRECO had recommended that the police should regularly communicate about its work, including controversial cases that are in the public interest.

"This is why we are asking Commissioner Gafa to, today or tomorrow, call a press conference and place himself under the scrutiny of journalists."

 


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