Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial sus­pends him­self pend­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion into foot­baller’s ar­rest, re­lease

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE -

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”.

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