Malta Police Union demands removal of disciplinary board member over impartiality concerns

The Malta Police Union has called for the removal of Joe Cordina from the police disciplinary board, citing concerns over his impartiality

The Malta Police Union has requested the immediate removal of a police disciplinary board member, Joe Cordina, arguing that he is not impartial to serve on the board.

Cordina is a member of the police board which hears internal cases of breach of discipline and internal procedures against police officers.

“In his recent comment on Facebook, Joe Cordina once again showed he is not impartial and expresses his opinion on police officers in public without any diligence for his sensitive position,” the union said on Wednesday.

Cordina’s comment referred to an updated from the Police Force on union agreement. In his comment, Cordina says that the police are avoiding work and forcing it onto the local enforcement agency LESA.

The union argued that Cordina’s presence on the board denies officers a chance of a fair hearing in front of the disciplinary board. It highlighted European Court for Human Rights judgements related to the Right of Fair Hearing.

“This is shameful. Imagine what will the result of a case be, if Cordina will have an officer in front of him to be judged for something related in the future,” the MPU said.

In reaction to Cordina’s comments, the union is issuing a directive to its members. Under the directive, is a member is called before the disciplinary board and Cordina is one of the board members hearing the case, then that police officer should leave the venue without giving explanation.

If the member is on duty during the hearing, then the member shall return to their duties as if the disciplinary sitting was never held. If the member was off duty, then they can continue with their business.

Any detailed period of exemption of duties due to the attendance for the disciplinary sitting will still apply and shall be availed of.

The directive is applicable with immediate effect.