Prison director to be charged over gun threat, minister will not suspend him

Prison director Robert Brincau is to be charged next week in connection with an argument in Għadira in August 2022 when he allegedly pointed a gun at a man

CCF director Robert Brincau
CCF director Robert Brincau

Prison director Robert Brincau is to be charged next week in connection with an argument in Għadira in August 2022 when he allegedly pointed a gun at a man, the Times reported.

Brincau, who has already been questioned by the police about the allegation, denies the claim, and the home affairs ministry has already told the newspaper that he was not expected to suspend himself or resign despite facing criminal charges in court.

The government said the allegation pertains to a “personal incident”, and not to Brincau’s duties in his official capacity. It also said the “manifest conflict” in the versions given by the parties had to be determined by the court.

The alleged incident in summer revolves around a dispute and long-standing rivalry between two competing private ambulance services.

Brincau’s wife is the director of Malta Red Cross, which is contracted by the government to provide lifeguards at Għadira bay, in Mellieħa.

Staff from a rival ambulance service, Alpha Medical, got into a dispute with Brincau after allegedly being impeded while responding to an emergency call at the bay.

Alpha Medical staff gave sworn statements to the police claiming Brincau pointed a gun at the ambulance driver’s head during the alleged incident.

The driver said Brincau – a former Red Cross director – first headbutted him and he responded in kind with a punch to the face. Brincau then reached for a gun he was allegedly carrying and pointed it at the ambulance driver’s head, according to statements given to the police by the Alpha Medical driver and an accompanying nurse.

The driver is said to have failed to immediately alert officers in the vicinity about the claimed incident, fearing the situation would escalate if he went immediately to the police.

Brincau has denied the claims. “As I saw an argument between the parties, I talked to the persons involved to calm down tempers. In fact, the situation was calmed down and all left the scene. I strongly object that I pointed a gun at a person, this is a lie. The latter did not happen and, furthermore, no scuffle, as was alleged, took place.”

Prisoners’ welfare group reacts

Mid-Dlam għad-Dawl Foundation, a prisoners welfare group, is calling for stability in the prison leadership.

The organisation said this was a delicate time when reforms at the Corradino Facilities are still being implemented.

In a press release, the foundation insisted on stability, which is necessary in order to “continue helping prisoners reform and rehabilitate themselves.” 

“The good that has been done over the last months cannot be lost now,” the foundation stressed.

Mid-Dawl għad-Dlam Chairperson George Busuttil told MaltaToday that while justice must be served, the corrective facilities must maintain stability for the greater good of the prisoners themselves.