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Gozo drug case | Police escorts key witnesses to late night meeting

Two police motorcyclists accompanied a minister who was allegedly escorted to the Gozo ministry in October 2013, where he is believed to have met the father of a youth from Munxar, who had been caught in the possession of drugs

saviour_balzan
Saviour Balzan
14 March 2017, 7:33am
Both Anton Refalo (left) and Manuel Mallia have denied knowledge of the meeting
Both Anton Refalo (left) and Manuel Mallia have denied knowledge of the meeting
Police records of two police motorcyclists detailed to accompany a minister in Gozo may be the key to understanding what really happened in October 2013, during an alleged meeting between two ministers and the parent of an alleged drug trafficker.

It is not protocol for police motorcyclists to accompany ministers, but an officer in charge at the time made exceptions and ordered that two police motorcyclists escort the minister.

All details of police motorcycle events are carefully recorded by the police.

A minister was allegedly escorted to the Gozo ministry in October 2013 at around 10:30pm, where he is believed to have met the father of a youth from Munxar, who had been caught in the possession of drugs. The parent was seen entering the building of the Gozo ministry at around 11pm, having told bystanders that he was there to talk to the two ministers. He left the building at around 1:30am.

MaltaToday had reported that in June 2013, a young woman from Sannat and a young man from Victoria were caught in the possession of nine packets of cocaine (not heroin as reported last week). They were arrested at a “Caliente” party and the woman said in her statement that she had bought drugs from two young men, the one from Victoria and another from Munxar.

The man from Munxar was not present at the party, held at Mgarr ix-Xini.

The investigation was led by Inspector Bernard Spiteri.

Later in September 2013, the young man from Munxar was caught in the possession of cannabis in Marsalforn. He was arrested and the police started to look into the allegations made in the first report.

The suspect’s father was seen entering the Gozo ministry in October. Soon after this meeting the young Sannat woman was accompanied by her lawyer at the Victoria police station, where she requested to change her original statement. In her new statement she changed her previous statement about the drug trafficker from Munxar, to say he had not supplied her with the drugs.

Both Gozo minister Anton Refalo and the former home affairs minister at the time, now competitiveness minister Manuel Mallia, have denied knowledge of the case and political involvement.

Mallia told the Times of Malta that the only meetings he ever held in Gozo were for official purposes.

An inquiry, led by lawyer John Vassallo, has been launched at the request of the Prime Minister after MaltaToday first published news that the meeting between ministers and the parent of the suspect had taken place in Gozo. The inquiry only recently started calling key witnesses to testify.

The Nationalist Party has criticized the choice of Dr Vassallo, who is a former Labour electoral candidate.

Timeline
  • June 2013


A young woman from Sannat and young man from Victoria are caught with 9 packets of cocaine by the CID at Caliente party in Mgarr ix-Xini. The woman admits to possession but alleges that she bought drugs from a man from Victoria and another man from Munxar. She says this in the presence of a number of CID officials.
  • September 2013


A young man from Munxar caught in Marsalforn in possession of cannabis.
  • October 2013 


A government minister escorted by two police motorcyclists arrives at Gozo ministry at 10:30pm. Another minister is already in the building. At 11pm, the father of the Munxar suspect enters the ministry, and exits at 1:30am.
  • October 2013


The young woman visits Victoria police station with her lawyer and demands to change her statement and declares that the Munxar man was not her source for drugs.
  • January 2017


MaltaToday reports statements made in the House of Representatives by Chris Said regarding a secretive and sinister meeting in the Gozo ministry related to an alleged cover-up in a drug investigation.
  • February 2017


MaltaToday reveals details of the story but does not mention names. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat opens an inquiry into the allegations. Gozo and (former) home affairs ministers Refalo and Mallia deny any knowledge of the events.
  • March 2017


Dr John Vassallo appointed and start meeting witnesses and individuals related to case.

saviour_balzan
Saviour Balzan is the founder and co-owner of MaltaToday. He has reported on Maltese poli...