[WATCH] Minister stands by prison director charged with threatening ambulance driver with a weapon

Prisons director Robert Brincau will not be suspended after he was charged with threatening an ambulance driver with a weapon • Byron Camilleri says he will await court judgment

Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri
Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri

Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri will not suspend prisons director Robert Brincau after he was charged in court for threatening an ambulance driver with a weapon last August.

Brincau appeared in court on Wednesday and charged with slight bodily harm, threatening a man with a weapon, insulting and threatening the man, carrying an unlicensed firearm in public, being armed during the commission of an offence and breaching the peace, in connection with the 21 August incident at Għadira Bay.

But Camilleri insisted on sticking by Brincau when doorstepped outside his ministry on Thursday. The minister said that there was a clear conflict between the version of events put forward by the parties in the case.

“It’s up to the court to decide which one is correct,” Camilleri told MaltaToday.

He added that the alleged incident didn’t take place at Brincau's place of work at the Corradino Correctional Facility.

“I’m of the opinion that, in delicate moments like in the past days, you can’t have a vacuum in the leadership of the prison. This opinion was shared by prisoner rehabilitation organisations like Mid-Dlam Għad-Dawl and Fondazzjoni RISE. A decision, if needed, against Mr Brincau will be taken after the court proceedings are concluded,” Camilleri said.

When asked whether a person holding such a sensitive position should hold clean conduct in their personal and professional capacity, Camilleri insisted that some of the media reports on Brincau’s charges were “more sensational than others”.

“I saw reports in the media yesterday, some of them were more sensational than others,” he remarked without indicating what was sensational about the testimony heard in court.

Brincau denied the charges in court on Wednesday, with his lawyer arguing this was a case of false reporting by the ambulance crew.

Witnesses described in court that the prison director had allegedly threatened an ambulance crew with a handgun at Għadira Bay last summer, in an incident apparently motivated by commercial rivalry between the ambulance service provider and the Malta Red Cross, which Brincau had been the director of.

Brincau took over the directorship of the Corradino Correctional Facility in 2021, after Col. Alexander Dalli suspended himself when an inmate was found dead inside his prison cell.

The Opposition yesterday called for the temporary suspension of Brincau until court proceedings are concluded. “In view of the fact that proceedings have been initiated against him, his moral authority has been seriously weakened,” PN home affairs spokesperson Joe Giglio said.

READ ALSO: Prison director charged after pointing gun at ambulance driver