Who stabbed who in Tarx­ien in­ci­dent?

● Po­lice ‘not rul­ing out’ charg­ing for­mer Prime Min­is­ter’s daugh­ter, her son and her lover

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE -

Mon­day night’s triple stab­bing in­ci­dent in Tarx­ien that in­volved Yana Mintoff, the daugh­ter of for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Dom Mintoff, her son Daniel and a Romanian na­tional re­mains shrouded in mys­tery, with the po­lice of­fer­ing very lit­tle in­for­ma­tion and with no charges having been pressed five days after the al­ter­ca­tion.

The vi­o­lent in­ci­dent that took place on Mon­day night left all three in­di­vid­u­als in­jured with stab wounds and the Romanian na­tional, pur­port­edly Ms Mintoff’s part­ner, hos­pi­talised and in in­ten­sive care.

Mater Dei Hospi­tal sources speak­ing with this news­pa­per have con­firmed that the Romanian, iden­ti­fied by the press as 39year-old Ghe­o­rghe Popa, is still in Mater Dei’s In­ten­sive Care Unit, where he is re­port­edly in sta­ble con­di­tion and re­cov­er­ing from a stab wound to the stom­ach.

Mr Popa is un­der 24-hour po­lice sur­veil­lance. But the same can­not be said of Ms Mintoff and her son, who ac­cord­ing to our sources were ques­tioned only once about the in­ci­dent and are free to roam around and even leave the coun­try if they wish to do so.

Ms Mintoff and her son suf­fered slight in­juries, ac­cord­ing to the sin­gle state­ment on the in­ci­dent re­leased by the po­lice so far. They in fact left the hospi­tal and have not sought med­i­cal care after the in­ci­dent, which has been de­scribed in the me­dia as a mat­ter of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

Con­tacted by this news­pa­per on Thurs­day, the po­lice con­firmed that the case is still un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Fur­ther queries on the case sent to the po­lice yes­ter­day re­mained unan­swered as of yes­ter­day evening.

But sources within the po­lice force, speak­ing to this news­pa­per anony­mously, were con­cerned that the se­crecy in which this case has been shrouded by the in­ves­ti­ga­tors work­ing on the case has raised eye­brows within the po­lice force. Be­sides be­ing the daugh­ter of for­mer Prime Min­is­ter and Malta Labour Party leader Dom Mintoff, Yana Mintoff is also a con­sul­tant to the gov­ern­ment and con­tested the elec­tion on the Labour Party ticket. If the po­lice de­cide to press charges, her son, her Romanian part­ner or she could face se­ri­ous crim­i­nal charges.

A sec­ond po­lice source speak­ing with this news­pa­per on con­di­tion of anonymity as­sured that no one in­volved in the case will be given any pref­er­en­tial treat­ment in any way what­so­ever over con­sid­er­a­tions of the peo­ple in­volved in the al­ter­ca­tion.

“The dark days of the 1980s, when frame-ups and cover-ups in­side the po­lice de­pot were the or­der of the day, are long gone,” said the source, a per­son who to­day has an im­por­tant role in the force.

But the lat­est at­tempt at a coverup does not go back as far as the 1980s. The case of for­mer Home Af­fairs Min­is­ter Manuel Mal­lia’s for­mer chauf­feur Paul Shee­han — who gave chase to and fired a gun at a car that dam­aged the min­is­te­rial car’s side mir­ror — would have gone un­der the radar had the in­de­pen­dent me­dia not re­vealed the facts of the in­ci­dent. That had spelt se­ri­ous trou­ble for Manuel Mal­lia, who was made to re­sign from his min­is­te­rial post, and for­mer Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Ray Zam­mit, who re­signed soon after.

In a case that has set tongues wag­ging across the coun­try, 65year-old Yana Mintoff and her 32year-old son Daniel Main­war­ing suf­fered stab wounds re­spec­tively to the chest and thigh, for which they were treated at the nearby Paola health cen­tre soon after the in­ci­dent. Both were taken to Mater Dei Hospi­tal for fur­ther treat­ment and were dis­charged soon af­ter­ward.

The Romanian, re­port­edly Ms Mintoff’s part­ner, was far more se­ri­ously in­jured and was cer­ti­fied as having been grievously in­jured in the al­ter­ca­tion, the rea­sons for which re­main un­known.

In their state­ment the next morn­ing, the po­lice said that an ar­gu­ment broke out on Mon­day night be­tween Ms Mintoff and 39-yearold Mr Popa, who lives at the same res­i­dence.

In the state­ment, the po­lice said that Mr Popa had at­tacked Ms Mintoff with a knife, which prompted her son to in­ter­vene. Both men were wounded in the en­su­ing scuf­fle, with Mr Main­war­ing having been stabbed in the thigh. Mr Popa is be­lieved to have been stabbed in the stom­ach.

De­spite the se­ri­ous­ness of his in­jury, the po­lice said that when they went to the res­i­dence to in­ves­ti­gate they found a fire had been started in­side Ms Mintoff’s res­i­dence, pur­port­edly by Mr Popa, and the Civil Pro­tec­tion De­part­ment was called in to ex­tin­guish the blaze.

Mr Popa was later found hid­ing in a tree in the ad­ja­cent Joanne Gar­dens – named after Dom Mintoff’s two daugh­ters Yana – real name Joan – and Anne. He was taken down from his perch with the help of a cherry-picker and was found cov­ered in blood and grievously wounded.

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