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Peppi Azzopardi Calls For Protection Of Prisoner Who Pledged To Testify About ‘Torture Chair’ 

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Xarabank presenter Peppi Azzopardi has called for the protection of a prison inmate who has filed court proceedings and promised to testify about torture and abusive treatment at Malta’s Prison.

Azzopardi said he had proof that Vella’s claims were correct and said he would be holding Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri responsible for his continued well-being. 

The man, 41-year-old Brian Vella, who is behind bars for a double murder, filed an application before the Criminal Court, in which he claimed to have been the victim of inhumane treatment at the correctional facility. 

Vella claimed that he was not the only one to experience such treatment, describing a “systematic campaign of terror, fear and torture” which he said reigned over Malta’s prison, according to the Times of Malta

Prison authorities as well as the Home Affairs Ministry have in the past denied the existence of such a chair, but Vella has now said he is willing to testify under oath. 

He also claimed that on September 24, 2018, along with other inmates he had seen prison guards taking out a dead inmate, a fact Vella claimed was never made public. 

In a Facebook post today, Azzopardi called on the prison administration and the ministry to ensure that Vella’s life wasn’t threatened in any way and that he wasn’t tortured or placed in solitary confinement. 

Azzopardi also called on authorities to ensure that “other prisoners weren’t asked to beat him up in exchange for some privileges”. 

This isn’t the first time the prison’s administration is being accused of inhumane treatment of prisoners since colonel Alexander Dalli took over at the helm of the prison.

Last November, civil society group Repubblika called for Dalli’s resignation after it was reported that a 25-year-old inmate had been found dead in prison – the 11th since Dalli had taken charged.

Vella’s claims were “categorically denied” by the Correctional Services Agency in a brief statement. 

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