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Left In The Dark After Death At Police Depot, Richmond Tong’s Family Demands Compensation

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It’s been over a year since Richmond Tong was found dead in a cell at the police depot and his family, who is still waiting for answers, is now seeking compensation. 

Tong, 35, was found dead in his cell in June 2020, shortly after he had been arrested over suspected drug possession. Police said back then he had suffered a seizure and was given first aid but to no avail.

A magisterial inquiry remains ongoing while police haven’t confirmed whether or not any officers have been suspended.

His relatives Monica Tong, Ian Tong and Maryjo Tong are now taking legal action, filing a judicial letter against the Home Affairs Minister, the police commissioner, the Attorney General and the State Advocate to request compensation.

“With reference to the fact that Richmond Tong lost his life on 24th June 2020 while he was in the lock-up of the police depot, we ask you to liquidate the damages you caused us,” they wrote.

“His death could have been caused by your actions, through a lack of diligence, prudence or thought, and through carelessness, and this after you failed to give him the necessary medical assistance that the circumstances required.”

The Tongs, through their lawyers Franco Debono, Marion Camilleri and Francesca Zarb, said they reserve the right to further legal action if their request isn’t met.

Besides this judicial letter, they have also opened a constitutional case to claim that their human rights are being breached by being denied information from the inquiry.

The Nationalist Party has also called for an independent inquiry into Tong’s death. 

Do you think the authorities should be more transparent about this case? 

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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]

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