The Malta Independent 2 March 2024, Saturday
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Inspector facing disciplinary action over Iosif Galea fiasco demands access to full inquiry report

Friday, 30 September 2022, 12:10 Last update: about 2 years ago

A police inspector facing who is facing disciplinary proceedings following an investigation by the Police Complaints Board into how gaming consultant Iosif Galea was allowed to travel despite a European Arrest Warrant issued against him has filed court action against the board.

The inspector, who has not been named, is yet to be shown the Board’s full report from its investigation, and is arguing that proceedings against him should stop until the full report is shared.

In a judicial protest filed on the inspector’s behalf by lawyer David Bonello it is stated that the inspector, who was in charge of the Sirene Bureau which handles how EAWs are administered at the time Galea went abroad, had only been given a copy of the report’s conclusions – the same copy which was sent to the media – and not the full report.

The lawyer pointed out that while these conclusions did not identify the two individuals who were found to be at fault other than to mention that they were “officers”, his client was now facing internal disciplinary proceedings.

Stating that the inspector’s numerous requests for a full copy of the report by the Police Complaints Board had been ignored, Bonello asked the Commissioner of Police to cease and desist from taking the internal proceedings any further before the inspector is given a full copy of the report.

Bonello said that the inspector had a right to be given a full copy, and that “he believes that before the Commissioner of Police asked the Independent Police Complaints Board to investigate, he had already carried out a full internal investigation and assured himself that the Commissioner and his few close colleagues could escape administrative responsibility.”

Bonello said his client found it “very interesting” that the media had zeroed in on two police inspectors, one of them being the plaintiff, when the published conclusions only indicate unnamed “officials” and made no reference to their responsibilities. This raised serious concerns, the lawyer said, because it was only the Commissioner who had a full copy of this report.

In its conclusions published two weeks ago, the board had determined that there was no interference from Commissioner of Police Angelo Gafà or top brass for the EAW not to be executed. But administrative deficiencies identified by the complaints board led to the EAW request to be ignored or not executed by the responsible officials.

The request for the investigation to the complaints board was submitted by Gafa, over claims that he could have known of the EAW prior to Galea being allowed leave for a holiday abroad, despite being on police bail in Malta in connection with a trading in influence investigation.

Galea was arrested in Italy last May on a German EAW related to a tax investigation. Earlier that week, the Maltese police had confirmed it had also issued its own EAW for Galea's arrest.

Italian newspapers had reported that Galea was arrested on the night of 14-15 May as he arrived for a holiday he was to take at Cellino San Marco.

Galea was said to have been joining his partner Maria Grech, a longtime assistant of Michelle Muscat, wife of the former prime minister Joseph Muscat, at the Marigold Foundation.

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