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WATCH: My Criticism Of Raid Magistrate Is Limited To Muscat Daughters’ Phones Being Seized, PM Insists

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Prime Minister Robert Abela has insisted that his criticism of magistrate Gabriella Vella over yesterday’s raid on his predecessor Joseph Muscat’s home is limited to the fact that police had seized the mobile phones of Muscat’s two teenage daughters.

“The government has given the institutions its full trust but democratic states function on a system of checks and balances, which means that the three branches of the state [executive, legislative and judiciary] have a sacred duty to balance each other out.”

“As leader of the executive, I feel there shouldn’t be a lack of proportionality between the way the judiciary seeks out the truth and the means it uses. This [lack of proportionality] was limited only to how the inquiry felt the need to seize Muscat’s daughters’ phones.”

Muscat yesterday criticised the magisterial inquiry, which is investigating alleged corruption in the Vitals hospital concession, for seizing his daughter’s phones and described the raid itself as “theatrics”.

“My children were just waking up and getting ready for school,” Muscat recounted. “I gave the police my file, they asked for my phone and I gave it with no problem. They also asked for my children’s phones which I saw as a bit excessive.”

“They are 14-year-olds, good luck browsing through their phones. Maybe the police can tell me if they have a boyfriend. I choose to laugh instead of cry but this won’t intimidate me.”

Abela’s initial reaction when questioned by journalists was to warn the institutions not to lose the trust that the government has placed in them. 

However, he insisted today that this wasn’t intended as a veiled threat. 

“It wasn’t some kind of veiled threats to the magistrate; my message has consistently been that no one is above the law. However, everyone is also equal in front of the law and no one can be treated more rigorously than others because of positions they used to hold.” 

What do you make of Abela’s reaction?

READ NEXT: Jason Micallef: 'The Time For Labourites To Take To The Streets Has Arrived' After 7am Muscat Raid

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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