Protesters gathered outside the Home Affairs Ministry this afternoon, insisting that recent revelations concerning the police and investigations into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia demanded the resignation of Minister Byron Camilleri.
The protest was organised by NGOs Repubblika and Occupy Justice, with the former sending Camilleri a letter which was copied to the press.
In its letter, Repubblika said that it could no longer accept an endless series of scandals.
“We are nearing a situation where we will no longer have a police officer fit to investigate their colleagues’ wrongdoing. We have reached a ridiculous situation where senior police are picking on rank-and-file officers to look as though they’re doing something, while these officers are dishing the dirt on their superiors,” the NGO maintained.
It said that it was not credible to claim that the police had lost Keith Schembri’s mobile, and dismissed their “banal excuse” that he could not provide them with his computer’s password because it would give them access to government work. It also questioned what the police force was doing to bring Konrad Mizzi – who has been living in London for the past three months – back to Malta.
TikTok dance deemed ‘far worse’ than police corruption
Repubblika questioned whether it was acceptable for the government that Acting Commissioner Carmelo Magri encouraged police officers to stick to the Labour Party he supported, days before his appointment.
It also wondered whether they were investigating allegations concerning former Deputy Commissioner Silvio Valletta, Assistant Commissioner Ian Abdilla and Jimmy Magro, and wondered why they had failed to speak to Labour deputy leader Chris Cardona in the wake of allegations linking him to the Caruana Galizia assassination made in Court.
“Do you seriously believe that a dance on TikTok is far worse than giving criminals notice as to when they will be arrested, giving them in advance the questions they are to answer and assuring them that they would be released from custody immediately,” the NGO asked.
The NGO stressed that it did not believe that every police officer was crooked, noting that many felt betrayed by their colleagues. But it added that the situation within the Police Force was so grave that it required rebuilding from the ground up.
Minister ‘sheltered crooked cop’
Repubblika said that it did not believe that the blame lay entirely with Camilleri, noting that his predecessors had caused untold damage to protect their corrupt peers.
“But you are also responsible… we do not believe that you only discovered that (former Commissioner) Lawrence Cutajar hindered investigations into Caruana Galizia’s murderers,” it said.
“You knew this as soon as he resigned from the force. And instead allowing for his investigation, you protected him and made him your consultant to render him untouchable.”
The NGO added that it was tired to see ministers protecting criminals, and that Camilleri was effectively caught protecting a corrupt policeman.