Inmate found dead in his cell

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

An inmate was found dead on Saturday morning.

In a brief statement by the Correctional Services Agency, the authorities said that a 45-year-old Maltese man was found dead at 6.35am.

The death was reported as a natural death.

The agency said the police were investigating the matter and a magisterial inquiry was also underway.  

What was the cause of death? – PN

Partit Nazzjonalista has pointed out that the latest death in prison is one of several in the past months.

Opposition spokesperson for home affairs PN MP Beppe Fenech Adami called on Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri to explain what led to the death of a prison at such a young age. PN underlined that an explanation is due for the sake of transparency and accountability, as well as to set the other inmates’ mind at rest.

Nine deaths in two and a half years – Repubblika

Rule of law NGO Repubblika underlined that there were nine deaths under the custody of the authorities in the last two and a half years. Voicing their concern about the latest death, Repubblika remarked that this was a very troubling indication of systematic failure.

The NGO noted that despite the inquiry having just started, the prison authorities concluded that the death was due to natural causes.

“This systematic failure also includes the usefulness of magisterial inquiries that take place in secret. Moreover, no one knows if they were concluded, what the result was, and if the recommendations advanced by the magistrates were fulfilled,” Repubblika’s statement reads.

It also took note of some 25 pending magisterial inquiries on incidents that occurred over the last two and a half years.

“We also appeal to the members of the judiciary to use the powers given to them at law, and to visit the parts of the prison that are hidden from the public eye – those that are reported to be kept in conditions that may result in torture or inhuman treatment. Given that they have the power to act, their decision not to exercise this power is a form of complicity,” the NGO concluded.