Watch: Dance parties, BBQs, alcohol and illegal fireworks in the prison grounds

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Parties and social gatherings may have been temporarily banned as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, but this news appears to not have reached the Corradino Correctional Facility, where Newsbook.com.mt can reveal that a number of BBQs and dance parties were organised for correctional officers.

There was no shortage of alcohol in these events, and fireworks were even let off, despite the absence of the necessary permits.

When contacted, the Home Affairs Ministry confirmed that the barbecues took place, but claimed no knowledge of any dance parties.

DJ hired for late night parties

Newsbook.com.mt is informed that a number of dance parties were held in the prison stores, with a DJ hired especially for the occasion. As a precaution, those who attended these events were warned not to take any photographs or footage, and no mobile phones were allowed.

Alcohol was free-flowing, and a number of officers would inevitably end up drunk by the end of it.

Our source reminded that as one may surmise, this went against regulations, pointing out that those who had been at the disco would need to report to work at 7am that same morning.

Illegal fireworks launched at the BBQs

The ministry told Newsbook.com.mt that the barbecues were held in recognition of the tough conditions correctional officers found themselves in as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

To minimise the risks of an outbreak in a restricted space, officers started living at the prison and began working week-long shifts. Those on Shift B held a barbecue in the prison courtyard on 22 May, while those on shift A held theirs on 29 May.

The ministry claimed that each correctional officer was limited to a single alcoholic drink in these events, but this was contradicted by our source. Officers could enjoy at least two types of whisky, one brand of vodka, local beers and an alcoholic punch: Newsbook.com.mt has a list of the brands of alcohol served.

Asked to comment on fireworks, the ministry claimed that flares were launched on both occasions, stating that these did not require permits or insurance. However, this is contradicted by our sources as well as by footage.

Ground fireworks (ġigġifogu) was let off in the 22 May BBQ, and on the following week, three boxes of fireworks (nar taċ-Ċiniżi) were used. These fireworks could clearly be seen from outside the prison grounds, leading members of a Facebook group for Paola residents to comment on the unusual event.

Newsbook.com.mt showed the footage to a fireworks expert, who confirmed that – contrary to the ministry’s claim – permits and insurance were required for the fireworks display shown.