Prison inmate told police of allegations of Dalli’s ‘bullying’

Inmate tells police of bullying tactics by former Prison Director Alex Dalli

Former Prison Director Alex Dalli
Former Prison Director Alex Dalli

A Corradino inmate who volunteered information on allegations concerning former prison director Alex Dalli, told an investigating police inspector that he had witnessed Dalli carrying a firearm during his rounds in prison.

According to a signed statement given to police, the inmate – who will remain anonymous – told police that Corradino Correctional Facility was a place where bullying often accompanied its disputed disciplinary methods.

The inmate told the police that Dalli carried a firearm with him even when he had escorted a group of prisoners on a jog in Senglea.

“I do not want to be punished for having spoken out,” the inmate told the inquiring police officer during his statement, which MaltaToday has seen.

The inmate alleged that he had seen Dalli and his driver shooting at pigeons with airguns from one of the prison yards, during one of the prisoners’ breaks.

“He was bullying a lot of people... I know that on 31 October 2021, an inquiry was ongoing as to claims that Dalli had put a gun to the head of an inmate or that he had harnessed them to a restraining chair. I heard this from (name withheld), who started shouting out these claims, boasting he would report it all to the police so that they investigate the allegations. Because he claimed he had been tied to the chair, even had his head covered in a sack, while he was tied up.

“Then at 4pm, they called him on the speaker and he came back into the division at 5pm, smiling and laughing, saying he had been sent for by the director and Mr Helenio (Galea)... he told us that they wanted to stop him from speaking to the police and that he had been promised remission, work, a better division, so long as the story stopped there.”

Alexander Dalli suspended himself from director of Corradino in November 2021, after an inmate was found dead inside his prison cell at the Corradino Correctional Facility. The foreign inmate, an Indian national, was found dead in the prison’s Division 4 during the prison guard handover this morning. A magisterial inquiry was launched.

Malta had the highest suicide rate in prisons – 25.2 per 10,000 inmates – after Iceland (61), according to Council of Europe statistics.

Dalli is suing newspapers MaltaToday and Illum over reports concerning his disciplinary tactics, namely, the use of a restraining chair for inmates; and that he had boasted with a minister and government officials how he bullied prisoners into submission by putting a gun in their mouth.

Sources recounted that during a visit to the Corradino Correctional Facility, the unnamed minister and his entourage were greeted by Dalli, who had a pistol in his holster.

The newspaper said Dalli boasted how he used the weapon to “threaten and control” prisoners.

He also spoke of the times when he placed the weapon in the mouth of prisoners, particularly those less obedient. The newspaper reported that Dalli had also mentioned the name of at least one prisoner he threatened with the weapon, soon after becoming director.

A former prison official, Emmanuel Cassar, has lifted the lid on Dalli’s unorthodox methods inside prison, claiming to have witnessed incidents in which the former director used his weapon to threaten prisoners.