Home Affairs Ministry mum on prison death

The Home Affairs Ministry refuses to answer questions related to the death of a Pakistani 25-year-old in prison says magisterial inquiry is underway

The Home Affairs Ministry is holding back from commenting on the death of a 25-year-old Pakistani inmate found dead on Thursday morning
The Home Affairs Ministry is holding back from commenting on the death of a 25-year-old Pakistani inmate found dead on Thursday morning

The Home Affairs Ministry is refusing to shed light on the death of a 25-year-old man in prison earlier this week.

The prisoner, who was identified as Ihtisham Ihtisham, a Pakistani national, was found dead in his cell on 19 November. The death was announced in a short media statement released by the Corradino Correctional Facility.

The victim's lawyer, Jacques Grima, told MaltaToday that he only received news of the man's death after he inquired with prison officials about the state of his client's health after reading the news reports.  "Not even his family were told about the death," the lawyer said.

MaltaToday reached out to the Home Affairs Ministry for details about the circumstances in which Ihtisham was found dead but shirked responsability by saying a magisterial inquiry was underway.

The ministry refused to say whether Ihtisham was alone in his cell, or with other inmates.

It also refused to say in what division he was being housed.

It appears that Ihtisham was serving jail time for the possession of false documents. He was jailed for six months after pleading guilty.

The ministry did not answer questions on whether the Corradino Correctional Facility officers had any knowledge of suicidal tendencies or health conditions the victim may have had.

The victim's brother told MaltaToday that Ihtisham never exhibited suicidal tendencies, never took drugs and did not complain about his health.

A statement by the head of administration and operations at CCF Randolph Spiteri said that no suspicious items were found in the cell, leading the prison administration to think he died in his sleep.

The only reply given from the ministry’s end was that a magisterial inquiry was underway.

More than 10 prisoners have been found dead in their cell over the past two years. The results of the respective inquiries are not public and it is unclear whether they have even been concluded.

Nationalist Party home affairs spokesperson Beppe Fenech Adami has spoken out about the incident, calling on minister Byron Camilleri to shoulder political responsibility for the streak of deaths.

Fenech Adami said on Thursday that yet another death at the prison highlighted the "absolute" failure of government's reform at the correctional facility.

He said the minister's "inaction" rendered him "politically responsible" for what is happening at the prison.

READ ALSO: Corradino inmate, 25, found dead in prison cell

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