Adrian Delia visits army day after one of his MPs files police report against patrol boat crew

Opposition leader Adrian Delia pays courtesy visit to the Armed Forces of Malta, a day after one of his MPs joined a legal challenge against soldiers who allegedly sabotaged a migrant dinghy

Adrian Delia with top army officials at the AFM air wing in Luqa during a courtesy call on Friday (Photo: AFM)
Adrian Delia with top army officials at the AFM air wing in Luqa during a courtesy call on Friday (Photo: AFM)

Adrian Delia has praised soldiers for always being there to defend the country during a courtesy call that included the maritime base at Haywharf.

The Opposition leader, who was accompanied by PN MP Beppe Fenech Adami, thanked soldiers for their work in the difficult circumstances the country was experiencing.

The visit came 24 hours after PN MP Jason Azzopardi, a lawyer, acting on behalf of civil society group Repubblika, filed a police report against military personnel on the P52 patrol boat over allegations made by migrant rescue NGOs that they sabotaged a migrant dinghy.

The NGO also filed a criminal report against army commander Brigadier Jeffrey Curmi and Prime Minister Robert Abela.

READ ALSO: Repubblika ask police to investigate army's alleged sabotage of migrant boat

Azzopardi, who is also the PN’s spokesperson for justice, was one of three lawyers who put his name to the police reports.

Delia was welcomed by the army commander and his visit took him to the AFM maritime base in Pieta, the air wing at Luqa and Lyster Barracks at Hal Far.

“You are this country’s shield. Malta thanks you. Every one of you risks their life and health to protect our country and us. You do this with great sacrifice, many times away from your families. Thank you. You are Malta’s army,” Delia was quoted saying in a press statement released by the PN.

The press were not invited for the event and it is unclear whether Delia raised the allegations against the crew of P52 in his talks with Curmi.

Delia said people were grateful for the “crucial” work the Maltese army was doing to safeguard the country’s security and give people peace of mind.

The PN agreed with the financial incentive for overtime the government has introduced for soldiers at this extraordinary time. Soldiers are not normally paid overtime.

Delia also urged the government to provide soldiers the necessary protective equipment to ensure they were safeguarded from the COVID-19 virus.

He also called on the EU to provide the country with more resources to be able to help secure the country’s and the EU’s external borders, given the vast stretch of sea Malta was responsible for.