Prison director rejects George Degiorgio's mistreatment claims

The Director of Prisons rebuffed the allegations of 'inhuman and degrading treatment', calling them 'totally unfounded'

The Director of Prisons dismissed George Degiorgio's claims as being 'totally unfounded'
The Director of Prisons dismissed George Degiorgio's claims as being 'totally unfounded'

George Degiorgio’s claims of "inhuman and degrading treatment" have been rebuffed by the Director of Prisons in a reply dismissing the allegations as "totally unfounded", whilst reserving the right to seek compensation for damages suffered.

In a reply filed by lawyer Mario Mifsud in the First Hall, Civil Court, the Director of Prisons rejected claims made last week in a judicial letter filed by Degiorgio, after an earlier letter he had filed in December had led nowhere.

In his second letter, Degiorgio, who is one of three men charged with the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, claimed that the prison authorities had not taken concrete steps to provide him with proper medical care for a “persistent and unbearable pain in his shoulder.” Degiorgio had argued that this failure by the prison authorities amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment.

In his reply, the Prison Director dismissed the allegations as “frivolous, vexatious and defamatory,” going on to say that last December Degiorgio had been provided with an MRI at a private hospital. Later that month, a consultant orthopaedic specialist from Mater Dei Hospital had visited Degiorgio in prison administering an injection and ordering a daily treatment regimen.

In January, the consultant had recommended Degiorgio attend physiotherapy but the inmate had refused, insisting instead on seeking a second opinion, telling the prison authorities that

‘should he want physiotherapy he would ask for it, personally.’

The reply made reference to correspondence with the Chairman of the Orthopedic Department at Mater Dei who had clarified that once Degiorgio had already been examined by a medical specialist and refused the recommended treatment, that was deemed final.

Pointing out that the Department had done all it could to accommodate Degiorgio, the Prison Director noted that Inhuman and degrading treatment, as defined by the European Courts, would be intended to cause ‘intense physical and mental suffering,’ which was certainly not the case here.

The reply also asks Degiorgio to desist from making any further allegations of this nature, with the Director of Prisons reserving his right to seek damages.

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