Prison director Alex Dalli has played down concerns about dangers faced by journalists in their line of work, claiming that the greatest threat to their personal safety lies in tripping over a stop or getting an electric shock when plugging in a computer.
Interviewed on L-Erbgħa Fost il-Ġimgħa last night, Dalli was repeatedly questioned by host Mark Laurence Zammit about reports of a ‘punishment chair’ at Kordin.
He insisted that such a chair never existed and that these reports referred to “a method of restraint” when the authorities were faced with a violent prisoner, just as Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri said yesterday.
“Have you ever witnessed a man three times your size in a state of delirium coming for you with a bloody knife in his hand?” Dalli asked. “Probably never. Your greatest danger as a journalist is tripping over a stair and hurting your foot or getting an electric shock when plugging in a computer.”
Zammit immediately reminded him that journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated in a car bomb three years ago but Dalli didn’t retract his comment.
“Three years ago, the prison was led by bullies and it was normal for a prison official to find his car or front door burned down after getting into a dispute with a prisoner. The time of bullies and barons is now over.”
He also highlighted his efforts in significantly reducing drugs from prison, something he said has contributed to a decline in violence.
“I understand that by clamping down on drugs, I’ve ruined someone’s business, so I get why I’m facing all of these attacks,” he said.
What do you make of the prison director’s comments?