An­ton Re­falo fu­ri­ous af­ter Ja­son Az­zopardi asks if he or­dered Bog­danovic’s re­lease

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE -

Jus­tice Shadow Min­is­ter Ja­son Az­zopardi yes­ter­day asked whether Gozo Min­is­ter An­ton Re­falo had is­sued the or­der for a foot­baller who was ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence to be re­leased.

This prompted an an­gry out­burst by Dr Re­falo, who de­manded that the MP sub­stan­ti­ate or with­draw the al­le­ga­tion.

Dr Az­zopardi was re­fer­ring to the case of for­mer in­ter­na­tional player Daniel Bog­danovic, who was ar­rested on Satur­day 29 Oc­to­ber and re­leased the fol­low­ing morn­ing, only to be ar­raigned un­der ar­rest the fol­low­ing day. It is be­ing claimed that the po­lice re­leased him on in­struc­tions from a govern­ment of­fi­cial. An in­quiry has been launched.

With­out men­tion­ing the foot­ball player by name, the PN MP said the man could have been kept un­der ar­rest un­til Mon­day evening - the po­lice can hold you for 48 hours . “But on Sun­day the (po­lice) su­per­in­ten­dent - who has to an­swer for this gave the or­der to grant po­lice bail. And for what rea­son? So that he could go and play foot­ball. These things make no sense.”

The fact that he was ar­raigned un­der ar­rest meant that this was a se­ri­ous case and there was a pos­si­bil­ity for the ac­cused to tam­per with ev­i­dence. Yet he was given po­lice bail so that he could go and play at a foot­ball match. “Is it fair if you live in a coun­try where a per­son who stabs some­one ends up in court within hours, un­less that per­son is a for­mer po­lit­i­cal can­di­date? It is use­less to give these rights if the law is not ap­plied in the same way in all cases. How would you feel if the law was ap­plied dif­fer­ently in your case? Is it true that the Gozo Min­is­ter gave that or­der and that this was not the first time he in­ter­fered in po­lice mat­ters? We are speak­ing about rights. But is ev­ery­one equal be­fore the law or have some of us be­come un­touch­ables?”

A few min­utes later an an­gry Gozo Min­is­ter en­tered the cham­ber and de­manded that Dr Az­zopardi sub­stan­ti­ate his claims and chal­lenged him to re­peat the claims out­side, where he was not pro­tected by Par­lia­men­tary priv­i­lege. “I know he’s not man enough but I chal­lenge him to re­peat these claims out­side.” Dr Az­zopardi said he had only asked a ques­tion.

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