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Updated | PN leader requests Prime Minister to offer protection to Jonathan Ferris and family

Adrian Delia also reiterated calls for the resignation of Foreign Minister Carmelo Abela after the latter confirmed that he was the minister alleged by a former investigator to have interfered in police work

massimo_costa
Massimo Costa
30 November 2017, 12:38pm
PN leader Adrian Delia has reiterated calls for the resignation of Foreign Minister Carmelo Abela while also demanding Jonathan Ferris be granted protection
PN leader Adrian Delia has reiterated calls for the resignation of Foreign Minister Carmelo Abela while also demanding Jonathan Ferris be granted protection
Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia will be writing to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat asking him to offer protection to former police officer and former Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) investigator Jonathan Ferris, his family and his property.

Addressing a press conference at the Parliament building in Valletta, Delia said this was being requested within the context of events that unfolded during the past weeks, as well as yesterday’s revelation in parliament that the minister who was alleged to have interfered in Ferris’ work was foreign minister Carmelo Abela.

The Opposition was asking for the immediate resignation of Abela, Delia said, who insisted that Abela had issued a press statement confirming what the Nationalist Party and Ferris himself had said.

"This [matter of Abela's interference] is not an allegation, it is a fact confirmed by Abela. We reiterate that the minister must resign immediately," Delia emphasised.

More serious than this, however, was the fact that Ferris was now fearing for his and his family's life, Delia said, adding that "after Ferris left the police force, he went to work for the FIAU and was about to investigate the highest officials of government, including the Prime Minister, but he was prevented on doing this by being dismissed".

Ferris was not trying to make the information he had in his possession public, Delia maintained, and because of this he now fears for his life in a country were criminal activity is reigning supreme.

The Opposition leader stressed that it was very worrying that Ferris was making preparations to safeguard his family and the information he has, in the event of his death, while the the Prime Minister had still not uttered a word on the matter.

"Abela intervened in a process in which he had no authority to intervene. This is the breaking of the rule of law," Delia said, emphasizing that the whole of the PN parliamentary group was united on this issue.

'Irresponsible' press conference - Government

In a reaction, the government said that Delia should have known that local authorities “did not wait around for him to tell them to take the necessary steps for Mr Jonathan Ferris to feel that he has all the protection required”.

“The press conference addressed by Adrian Delia was an irresponsible one since it is obvious that the leader of the Opposition was already informed that authorities had taken the necessary steps  - information that has been in the public domain for at least five days,” read a government statement, which referenced a Newsbook report with the title, “Exclusive: Ferris given police protection”.

Moreover, the government added that in an interview with Lovin Malta, Ferris had declared himself that the Police Commissioner had personally called him up to give him protection.

“The Opposition never tires in its attacks and partisan pressure on independent authorities, instead of letting them carry out their work responsibly,” it said. “Adrian Delia is again falling into negativity, with the same style of politics as Simon Busuttil.”

 

massimo_costa
Massimo Costa joined MaltaToday in 2017 as a journalist. He is a graduate in European Stud...