Police CEO and a favourite for the candidate of Malta’s next Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa attended a party of a man he started investigating 13 years ago. However, he dismissed any suggestions of wrongdoing, giving Lovin Malta assured answers of his integrity for the crucial role.
The race for the coveted seat is heating up and with 14 candidates vying for the spot it’s easy to see why. Rumours have been swirling in recent weeks over Gafa’s relationship with a Maltese auto dealer who was once charged with falsifying documents.
Gafa had led that investigation, which he told Lovin Malta resulted in a confession from the auto dealer, as confirmed in court documents. However, in a twist of events, the man still walked free after a court expert ruled that he did not actually falsify any signatures.
“His acquittal rested on circumstances which went beyond my remit as an investigator and prosecutor. However, following his partial acquittal, I had sought AG’s advice to appeal the case but the AG’s Office deemed insufficient reasons to file an appeal. The AG’s Office gave this advice in writing,” he said.
Some years later, his wife, Inspector Sylvana Gafa of the Victim Support Unit, helped a relative of the auto dealer’s wife in a challenging case.
“Eventually she was invited to [the auto dealer’s] surprise birthday party by his wife. I had on that occasion accompanied my wife to his reception, eight years after the delivery of the judgement,” he explained.
Sources who spoke to Lovin Malta had more serious allegations. Some were claiming that Gafa had holidayed with the person involved while others had said they had brought a car down from a foreign country together.
“I’ve never travelled abroad with him, let alone bring a car from abroad. I’ve never ever purchased any vehicles or anything else for that matter,” he said.
With Gafa vehemently denying the claims and replying to the newsroom in a quick-fire manner, it seems the race for Police Commissioner is heating up. Fourteen candidates have reportedly applied for the role. However, the official list of applicants and their names remains a strangely guarded secret.
The Public Service Commission is leading the selection process for the police commissioner for the first time ever. Candidates will need to submit a four-year plan and detail their short term and long term intentions in the position.
So far, Gafa, lawyers Mary Muscat, Herman Mula, Frankie Sammut, Assistant Commissioner Alexandra Mamo, legal procurator Sandro Camilleri, and Inspectors Robert Vella and Jonathan Ransley have confirmed to have applied.
The applicants will be wilted down to a final two, who will then face Parliament.
One man reported to have put his name in the hat is disgraced former assistant police commissioner Mario Tonna. Tonna stepped down from the role in 2018 following a domestic abuse complaint from his partner. He’s also been involved in a drink driving incident and has been found guilty of harassing a superior, making inappropriate use of a mobile phone, and committing a crime he was duty-bound to prevent as a police officer.
Tonna was also the Assitant Commissioner of the traffic section, which is facing its out serious allegations over an extra duty racket. Police officers involved in that racket have recently been crying foul over that investigation.
Others who are rumoured to have submitted an application are former police superintendent Raymond Zammit, former police officer Emanuel Cassar, Vice Squad Police Inspector Joseph Busuttil, banker Leo Busuttil, and Captain Reuben Lanfranco.
Despite the long list, Gafa is a favourite for the position. He is Malta’s first-ever Police Force CEO, having previously worked as an inspector, most notably on the investigation into former Minister and EU Commissioner John Dalli. Gafa also has previous experience with Malta’s Security Service and the Armed Forces of Malta.
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