Government official suspends himself pending investigation into footballer’s arrest, release
Jesmond Zammit, the head of the parliamentary secretariat for EU Funding, has suspended himself pending an investigation by former Brigadier Carmel Vassallo following a news report that police released former Malta international footballer Daniel Bogdanovic from arrest following a request by a government official.
This news came through a government statement.
Mr Zammit denies that he intervened in the case, however given that he is the coach of the football team who Bogdanovic plays for, the statement read, “he feels the need to suspend himself until the investigation concludes, so that no shadow will be cast over the work done by the Parliamentary Secretariat”.
Malta Today, in an article, wrote that Bogdanovic who currently plays for Xewkija Tigers was released from police custody after a government official intervened, thereby allowing him to play in a match against Kercem last Sunday.
He was arrested the evening prior to the match on charges relating to domestic violence and carrying a firearm. He was then arraigned on Monday and conditionally released from his arrest.
In a separate statement, government said that the police are denying the allegations, arguing that case procedure was followed. An internal investigation was launched led by the Brigadier Vassallo, to check whether procedure and law were followed and whether there was any form of external intervention. The inquiry board is meant to report back in three weeks.
The PN also issued a statement, arguing that the intervention from a Secretariat official in police work is another scandal.
It urged the Prime Minister to take action. “It is scandalous that a person of trust within the Secretariat of Ian Borg put pressure on the police, resulting in a person held under arrest being allowed to go and play in a football game”.