PN: Home Affairs minister should resign over misuse of prison radiation scanners by guards

Prison officials were instructed to override a security feature embedded in the prison’s x-ray scanners, prompting the scanners to carry out further scans

The Nationalist Party has called for Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri to shoulder political responsibility after it was revealed that prison officials were instructed to override a security feature embedded in the prison’s x-ray scanners.

According to reports, high-end scanners at the prison entrances are equipped with Artificial Intelligence to record radiation limits each person is exposed to.

When this happens, officials are instructed to enter a four-digit code (1585) that overrides the security feature, prompting the scanners to perform further x-ray scans.

In Facebook vlog on Sunday morning, presenter and activist Peppi Azzopardi gave details on the practice, stating guards “cheat the software” into taking more scans.

"Not only should they record radiation from the scanner; they should also have records of any radiation the inmate might have absorbed elsewhere, like in hospital, so they have a clear picture of how risky the scan will be,” he said.

He demanded an immediate investigation into the practice.

"I have more information that I'm ready to present to whoever will do the investigations," he said.

The scanner was installed in 2018 as part of a clampdown on drug smuggling.

The Corradino Correctional Facility, then headed by Alexander Dalli, had purchased the scanners from a Netherlands-based company that specialises in security equipment.

Reacting to reports, the PN said Byron Camilleri should shoulder political responsibility and resign.

“Byron Camilleri should either resign or be expelled from Prime Minister Robert Abela because it is now increasingly evident that Byron Camilleri is totally incompetent,” the PN said.

It said the detention and reform system has collapsed under his watch. “In spite of the shocking stories coming out of the facility, including the death of 14 people, Camilleri continued to defend all that was wrong and that had taken place while he was responsible, dismantling all the good that had been achieved during the years.”