Home Af­fairs Min­is­ter says ‘no con­flict’ on his rel­a­tive in­ves­ti­gat­ing Bog­danovic case

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Kevin Schem­bri Or­land

Home Af­fairs Min­is­ter Carmelo Abela told The Malta In­de­pen­dent that he does not be­lieve there is a con­flict of in­ter­est that his rel­a­tive was ap­pointed to head an in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the Daniel Bog­danovic case.

The min­is­ter ex­plained that it was the Of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter which ap­pointed for­mer Bri­gadier Carmel Vas­sallo to lead the in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion, not him.

The al­leged case took place a few weeks ago, 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. He was then ar­raigned in court on Mon­day.

The PN cried foul point­ing out that the for­mer Bri­gadier is re­lated to Min­is­ter Abela, bring­ing the cred­i­bil­ity of in­quiry into ques­tion given that the min­is­ter’s rel­a­tive is look­ing into ac­cu­sa­tions re­gard­ing the po­lice depart­ment, which falls un­der Min­is­ter Abela’s re­mit.

The in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion was launched to check whether pro­ce­dure and law were fol­lowed, to check whether the pro­ce­dures in cases of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence are ad­e­quate and whether there was any form of ex­ter­nal in­ter­ven­tion. The in­quiry board is meant to re­port back in three weeks.

The min­is­ter ex­plained that the state­ment an­nounc­ing the in­quiry was not sent by his min­istry. He stressed that the in­quiry’s re­mit does not in­volve any in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the min­is­ter him­self, “and ac­cu­sa­tions made in the me­dia, and by the Op­po­si­tion, are not point­ing the fin­ger at any ac­tion I did as min­is­ter, or any­one from my min­istry”.

He said the in­quiry re­port will, once con­cluded, be handed to the Prime Min­is­ter.

He ar­gued that even if the in­quiry is look­ing at whether po­lice should have acted in this way or not, it does not im­pinge on his work as a min­is­ter. “We are speak­ing about le­gal pro­ce­dures, whether they were fol­lowed, and whether the po­lice should have acted that way in this par­tic­u­lar sit­u­a­tion where do­mes­tic vi­o­lence is al­leged.”

The min­is­ter said that he does not in­ter­fere in these is­sues in his min­is­te­rial work, say­ing that it is up to the po­lice to de­cide on how and who to in­ves­ti­gate and on what ac­tion to use. “As such, I feel there is no con­flict of in­ter­est as I am not un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

The min­is­ter said he does not know if the in­ter­nal in­quiry would be made pub­lic, say­ing that this ques­tion should be posed to the Of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.