د . إAEDSRر . س

Bernard Grech Warns Police Not To Blame Officer For ‘Humiliating’ Failure To Arrest Iosif Galea

Article Featured Image

Opposition Leader Bernard Grech has warned the police force not to blame a low-ranking officer for the failure to arrest gaming consultant Iosif Galea in Malta.

“I urge all the dutiful police officers at all levels to do their job properly, in spite of all the risks it may entail,” Grech said on NET today.

“The PN is behind you, particularly those who might end up taking the can over this issue to cover for those who really committed shortcomings. I warn those who will try to blame a police officer for this case that the PN will speak out because it cannot be that people commit abuses and then try to shift the blame to others.”

Grech appeared to be referencing a recent claim by former PN MP Jason Azzopardi that police commissioner Angelo Gafà and deputy commissioner Alessandra Mamo intend to blame an inspector for allowing Galea to travel from Malta despite the gaming consultant having been subject to a European Arrest Warrant issued by Germany over a tax evasion case.

Azzopardi alleged that Gafa’ and Mamo had actually colluded with Castille to help Galea evade justice because there was a risk that the gaming consultant would spill the beans on dirt at the top of government.

Grech described the case as “humiliating” and further evidence that the institutions aren’t doing their job.

“A person with an international arrest warrant left Malta on holiday as though it was business as usual and we know who he travelled with [a reference to Joseph Muscat],” he said.

“He was arrested as soon as he arrived in Italy. How humiliating. Once again, other countries’ institutions are doing the job of our own institutions, which reduces public trust in the police force.

This is a shame because the absolute majority of police officers do their job well, but then you find individuals who aren’t doing the same and who are possibly being led by those who have other interests and are allowing abuse to take place.”

According to an Italian media report which didn’t mention Galea by name, Galea was arrested at Brindisi Airport on 14th-15th May by the Italian police on the back of a European Arrest Warrant issued by Germany with regards to a tax evasion case.

However, his arrest was only announced in Malta by Times of Malta on 28th May.

A day earlier, Times of Malta had published a story that the Maltese authorities had issued a European Arrest Warrant against Galea in connection with an alleged racket at the Malta Gaming Authority.

Then, on 29th May, the same newspaper reported that Muscat had been part of the group holiday, with the former Prime Minister stating that he had no connection with the case and that he had no personal or professional relationship with Galea.

Azzopardi yesterday claimed that a police sergeant who is currently detailed to the Malta Security Services was part of the group that travelled to Italy along with Muscat and Galea. Independent politician Arnold Cassola had made similar claims a few days prior.

The police complaints board, which is headed by retired judge Franco Depasquale, has been tasked by the Home Affairs Ministry with investigating the case.

However, the Malta Police Union and the NGO Repubblika have called for a fully-fledged independent inquiry, which would investigate the case from a wider aspect (rather than just whether any particular officers failed in their line of duty) and which would be able to publish the report.

Cover photo: Left: Bernard Grech, Right: police commissioner Angelo Gafa’ 

Do you think this case merits a full-blown independent investigation?

READ NEXT: Ian Borg Meets Brazil’s Bolsonaro And Gifts Him A Painting Of Grand Harbour

Tim is interested in the rapid evolution of human society brought about by technological advances. He’s passionate about justice, human rights and cutting-edge political debates. You can follow him on Twitter at @timdiacono or reach out to him at [email protected]

You may also love

View All