There are no signs of racism or racial intolerance within the Armed Forces of Malta, an inquiry board has discovered after nearly 300 interviews with soldiers and other army members.
Not only that, but no personnel had ever noted any racist or extremist sentiment among colleagues, the Times of Malta reported.
The findings come from a recently concluded inquiry into the drive-by murder of Lassana Cisse as he was walking home in Ħal-Far last year. The internal army inquiry was set up following Cisse’s murder.
Two Maltese soldiers, Francesco Fenech and Lorin Scicluna, aged 21 and 22 respectively, have been charged with his murder as well as the attempted murder of two other migrants and a separate hit-and-run incident on a suspected fourth victim.
The inquiry was looking to find evidence of racism embedded within the Maltese army, be it as part of the organisation or potentially smaller groups within the force.
However, the nearly 300 interviews indicate nothing of the sort. Interviewees reportedly denied knowing whether any of their colleagues harboured racists beliefs.
Soldiers with a different ethnicity or religious background also said they had never experienced any form of discrimination themselves, with a “widespread camaraderie” found within the corps.
Though Lovin Malta reported on how Lorin Scicluna followed several anti-migration pages and even a page on the history of the German Wehrmacht, the inquiry said it found no evidence of racial ideologies on their social media.
“There are no indications that the two suspected individuals formed part of a racist group or network both within or outside the AFM. The alleged criminal behaviour was never related to their employment in the AFM,” a Home Affairs ministry spokeswoman said.
The board is expected to submit a number of recommendations in line with catching racist ideologies before they permeate throughout the AFM.
One proposal would see applicants joining the AFM undergo an attitudinal psychometric analysis, and another could see regular lectures for army personnel covering topics such as racism and discrimination.