Ombudsman’s legal victory against Home Minister confirmed on appeal
The Court of Appeal yesterday confirmed that the Ombudsman has authority to investigate complaints by army officers.
The case had been instituted by former Ombudsman Joseph Said Pullicino against the Home Affairs Minister and permanent secretary.
The first court, presided by Mr Justice Lawrence Mintoff, had rejected the arguments made by then Home Affairs Minister Manwel Mallia, who argued that the law precluded the Ombudsman from investigating complaints by Armed Forces of Malta officials before these have exhausted all other avenues to seek redress.
The dispute was about a number of controversial promotions given out in September 2013, most notably that of Jeffrey Curmi, who obtained four promotions from major to brigadier.
Dr Said Pullicino had argued he was not being allowed to look into the matter, with Dr Mallia insisting that the Ombudsman had no jurisdiction over army officers.
The Court of Appeal, presided by Chief Justice Silvio Camilleri, Justice Giannino Caruana Demajo and Justice Tonio Mallia, yesterday rejected the Home Affairs Minister’s appeal.
Lawyer Henri Mizzi appeared for the Ombudsman and lawyer Victoria Buttigieg for the appellants.
The dispute was about a number of controversial promotions given out in September 2013, most notably that of Jeffrey Curmi, who obtained four promotions from major to brigadier