Police Superintendent files court injunction against ‘parody’ of Assistant Commissioner selection process

Superintendent Ray D’Anastas filed the application for the injunction, arguing that he felt aggrieved by the selection process which he had participated in, in 2013 and 2017

File Photo
File Photo

A police superintendent has filed a warrant of prohibitory injunction, asking the First Hall of the Civil court to halt the process of appointing new assistant police commissioners, citing a ruling by the Ombudsman that had described the selection process as “a parody of a formal process.”

Superintendent Ray D’Anastas, currently on pre-retirement leave until January next year, filed the application for the injunction, arguing that he felt aggrieved by the selection process which he had participated in, in 2013 and 2017, as a result of which Assistant Commissioners had been appointed with far less experience than him.

D’Anastas had filed proceedings before the Ombudsman who, in May 2021, had recommended that the selection process be reopened, or compensation of €15,000 be awarded to the plaintiff in default.

Through his lawyer, David Bonello, D’Anastas claims that the defendants: the Commissioner of Police, the Minister for the Interior and National Security and the Public Service Commission, had waited for nearly six months from the publication of the Ombudsman’s report so that he would have begun his “post-retirement pool” leave. The timing of the call caused the plaintiff irremediable prejudice as it was now certain that the selection process would be concluded after his retirement, thereby making it impossible for him to be appointed Assistant Commissioner of Police.

In his court application, filed today, D’Anastas claims that on 24 November, two days before the closing date for applications, he had received a phone call from the Police force’s HR department, citing orders “from above” instructing the caller to inform him that he could apply. The superintendent said that he had applied to the call-in order to safeguard his rights.

“Certainly, the Force can argue that a new call had been issued in which the plaintiff could apply, as recommended by the Ombudsman, even if he was already on his end of service leave and if the process ends before 12 January, he will not be eligible for the post,” wrote Bonello, also pointing out that the Police Union had filed a judicial protest against the “restrictive and discriminatory” call, which had added the criterion of experience in investigating financial and economic crimes.

Despite D’Anastas’ vast experience, spanning 40 years in the Force, his experience in investigating financial and economic crimes is limited, said the lawyer.

“In addition, it is well known inside the Police Force that this call is geared toward the appointment of a particular officer,” reads the application, which goes on to state that the timing and manner in which the call was made was aimed at causing irremediable prejudice to the plaintiff.