Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has said he has no information about the reported police inaction on the hit-and-run of a Chadian teenager by the same two soldiers who have been charged with the racially motivated drive-by murder of Lassana Cisse Souleymane.
“I don’t have information on what is filed and what is done,” Muscat told Lovin Malta. “I would need to first confirm what you are saying.”
“The principle point should be that the police did their work. We now need to let the procedure run its course and make sure we don’t prejudice the investigation.”
Francesco Fenech, 21, and Lorin Scicluna, 22, have been charged with the murder of Cisse Souleymane in Triq il-Ġebel last month, as well as with the hit-and-run of 17-year-old May Malimi in that same country road back in February.
The police didn’t issue a statement as they usually do with serious traffic accidents and Malimi’s case only came to light after the Chadian teen spoke up in the wake of Cisse Souleymane’s murder.
According to The Times of Malta, Malimi’s medical report had flagged the hit-and-run as a “motor vehicle accident” and police had never even questioned the young man about the case.
In comments to the press today, Muscat turned down suggestions he should shoulder political responsibility
“Political responsibility because the two men got caught? I think we need to congratulate the police for the impeccable work they’re doing.”
“There is also no doubt in the capabilities of the leadership of the armed forces, but they are still checking if [this case] represents something deeper.”
Pressed further, all he said was that he “never heard these type of arguments back in 2011”
On the issue of one of the accused holding a suspended sentence, and whether it was acceptable that he had remained part of the AFM, Muscat said that the man did not have the record when entering the AFM, and that there are internal rules within the institution which define what kind of charges are unacceptable.
He would not reveal who would heading the AFM’s internal investigation into the case, nor would he say if the report would ever be published. Instead, he maintained that these details did not form part of his competence but that he would support the report’s publication.
Cover photo: Left: Lassana Cisse Souleymane, Right: Prime Minister Joseph Muscat
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