PN to boycott grilling of new police chief

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Nationalist Party has opted not to participate in the parliamentary hearings which would confirm the government’s nomination of Angelo Gafà to the post of Police Commissioner, dismissing the process as a sham exercise.

“We don’t want to serve as a screen, to participate in a sham process,” party secretary general Francis Zammit Dimech said. “It is clear, from the way Robert Abela is acting, that he has long decided on how things should be. He wants to choose the Police Commissioner himself, and he wants him to be his puppet.”

Il-Prim Ministru Robert Abela sal-lum ma jridx li jkun hemm kunsens u ftehim mal-Oppożizzjoni dwar il-ħatra ta’…

Posted by Partit Nazzjonalista on Tuesday, June 9, 2020

The PN had proposed that a new police chief should only be appointed if the candidate is backed by two-thirds of MPs – as is the case with the Ombudsman and the Auditor General – but this was rejected by the Labour government.

Instead, a call for applications has been issued by the Public Service Commission, which sent a two-person shortlist to Cabinet. On Monday, the Cabinet opted for Gafà, a former inspector within the Economic Crimes Unit who is presently the Police Force’s CEO.

The Cabinet’s choice then needs to be confirmed by a simple majority of Public Appointments Committee MPs after a grilling process.

The PN has long charged that the process was a sham, with its justice spokesman Jason Azzopardi last month accusing Abela of seeking a guarantee that the new police commissioner would not investigate or seek the arrest of disgraced former minister Konrad Mizzi.

Right on cue, Mizzi, who had been in London for the past three months, returned to Malta on Tuesday, just a day after the Cabinet announced its choice.