PN claims Home Af­fairs Min­is­ter chose rel­a­tive to head Bog­danovic in­quiry

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

The Na­tion­al­ist Party yes­ter­day claimed that Home Af­fairs Min­is­ter Carmelo Abela had cho­sen a rel­a­tive to lead in in­quiry into claims that foot­ball player Daniel Bog­danovic, who was charged with do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, was ap­par­ently re­leased in time to play a match.

The al­leged case took place on the week­end be­fore last, when the for­mer in­ter­na­tional player was ar­rested over do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and weapon of­fences. He was ar­rested on Satur­day but was re­leased on Sun­day, al­legedly af­ter pres­sure by a govern­ment of­fi­cial.

PN Deputy Leader Beppe Fenech Adami told jour­nal­ists yes­ter­day that the per­son who is lead­ing the in­quiry, for­mer Bri­gadier Carmel Vas­sallo, is mar­ried to the sis­ter of the min­is­ter’s wife.

If wrong­do­ing is found in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion how­ever, the PN will be look­ing for res­ig­na­tions at the min­is­te­rial level, Dr Fenech Adami said.

Jus­tice Shadow Min­is­ter Ja­son Az­zopardi, who also ad­dressed the press con­fer­ence, said it was un­usual for the po­lice to re­lease a sus­pect they had just charged with do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

Dr Az­zopardi said the foot­baller’s re­lease was a “slap in the face” to NGOs work­ing in the field of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, who know that the first 48 hours are cru­cial and that there was a chance that the sus­pect could speak to wit­nesses or tam­per with ev­i­dence.

He ar­gued that po­lice bail is nor­mally given within the 48 hours af­ter an ar­rest if more time is needed for in­ves­ti­ga­tions. Dr Az­zopardi said that the foot­baller was taken be­fore the courts within the 48-hour pe­riod.

In the mean­time the PN MPs also spoke about the stab­bing case that took place at the home of Yana Mintoff, one of the daugh­ters of for­mer PM Dom Mintoff. Three peo­ple, in­clud­ing Ms Mintoff, were in­jured in the in­ci­dent. Ms Mintoff’s son was slightly in­jured and a Ro­ma­nian na­tional was se­ri­ously in­jured. No one has been charged over the in­ci­dent so far.

Dr Az­zopardi said some­one is al­ways ar­raigned un­der ar­rest in stab­bing cases. He asked why this was not the case and noted that the in­ci­dent and the fol­low­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion were shrouded in se­crecy. “This gives the im­pres­sion of a two weights, two mea­sures ap­proach”.

Turn­ing to the po­lice force in gen­eral, the PN rep­re­sen­ta­tives said that there is so­phis­ti­cated or­gan­ised crime in Malta. They said that it was only through luck that the car bomb in Bugibba did not kill more peo­ple.

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