Court grants provisional injunction to AFM bandsman refused promotion he ranked first for

The bandsman had filed a probihibtory injuction asking the court to order a second selection process to be suspended, and for his successful selection for the post to be reconsidered

(File photo)
(File photo)

A court has provisionally upheld an injunction filed by an AFM bandsman who was successfully chosen for a prestigious post within the army band only to be informed that he would not be given the post at the last minute.

In the injunction he filed against the Commander of the Armed Forces of Malta, Lance Bombardier Brendan Borg – who has been active with the AFM’s band for several years – described how he, along with others, had applied for the post of Assistant Trumpet Major with the army band after a call for applications which closed on 23 March 2018.

The call was open for existing band personnel, and the person selected for the role would be sent abroad to undertake a special course.

All applicants for the post had to undertake a medical fitness test, a theoretical exam and a “band control test”, all of which took place according to schedule in April.

Lbdr Borg ranked first in the selection process and was initially accepted for the role. But a week before he was due to leave Malta for the prestigious Army School of Ceremonial Drums and Bugle Wing  at Vimy Barracks in ITC Catterick, he was told to stand down as he would not be given the post after all.

Borg had already been given tickets for the Ryanair flights booked by the AFM, and was set to leave Malta on 24 June. He was also given the per diem allowance he was entitled to by bank transfer.

However, just as Borg had everything ready, his superiors telephoned him on 18 June – a week before he was meant to travel to the UK – and ordered him not to leave for the course, without any explanation except that the Commander of the AFM had decided that he should not be sent for the training.

The soldier filed a formal complaint, according to army protocol, the following day.

The complaint, Borg claims, was ignored, however, and he subsequently filed a second complaint on 27 August. This lead to him finally being granted an audience with the Commander, scheduled for 9 October. However, this would take place after the AFM had held a second selection process for the position, scheduled for late September.

In his warrant of prohibitory injunction, filed by lawyer Michael Tanti-Dougall, Borg asked the court to order that the selection process be suspended and the AFM Commander reconsider his (Borg’s) successful selection for the post of Assistant Trumpet Major, advising the Commander that he would be holding him responsible for any damages suffered, or which Borg could suffer.

In a decree issued last week, the First Hall of the Civil Court, presided by judge Noel Cuschieri, upheld the request for an injunction on a provisional basis and set a date for the case to be heard.

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