[WATCH] PM: Efficiency shown by police must be reflected in court judgments

Prime Minister Robert Abela says police can no longer be ‘demoralised’ by court judgments having worked ‘tirelessly’ on cases, in subtle dig following acquittal of accused in Sion Grech’s murder

Prime Minister Robert Abela
Prime Minister Robert Abela

The Prime Minister has said the efficiency and courage shown by the police must be reflected in court.

“We cannot have a police corps which is working tirelessly, and is then demoralised when it sees its work fade to nothing when court sentences are handed down,” Prime Minister Robert Abela told party supporters in Zejtun.

The PM’s subtle dig comes days after jurors acquitted 52-year-old Ismael Habesh from Libya and 55-year-old Faical Mahouachi who were accused of murdering 20-year-old Sion Grech in 2005.

Grech’s body had been found, dumped in a field after she was stabbed 17 times.

“The courts are expected by people to show the judicial process is strong and efficient,” Abela said. “Courts must send a clear message that security is of the utmost importance in the country.”

The PM said he was “shocked” to learn about the death of Pelin Kaya last Thursday, who was killed an hour into her 30th birthday last Thursday, when a black BMW rammed into her and killed her while walking in front of the Paul & Rocco petrol station in Gżira at 1am.

“I was angry and shocked like the majority of people in the country, and I expect the courts to be firm and efficient at every stage of the case,” he said. “Proper justice be made with victims and their families.”

Government did not choose ‘easy way out’ on abortion amendment

Speaking on the amendment to Malta’s abortion law, the PM said government could have opted for the “easy way out” and chosen to retain the status quo.

“We knew it would stir up debate in the country, but we did it because we know that we were given the country’s trust to not remain indifferent to the issues faced by sectors in society,” he said.

He slammed the PN for “twisting the debate” on such a delicate issue to score “cheap political points”.

“They are mentioning situations which they themselves know will not happen,” he said.

The PM said government had consulted with the Advocate General to see whether procedures being carried out at Mater Dei Hospital were breaking the law.

“With every procedure being carried out, the criminal code was being breached, and we had to address this anomaly,” he said.

He also questioned whether a lobby group of doctors opposed to the amendment had sought legal advice on the procedure. “And what where they told? Where they told the same thing, which was told to us by the state advocate?”

Abela said government will continue to listen to different perspectives on the law. “We have seen people come forward with genuine and disingenuous concerns, we will listen to everyone, and this will be reflected in the amendments.”

The Bill has passed the Second Reading stage in parliament and will now be debated at committee stage where amendments can be introduced.

The Opposition is opposed to the Bill, insisting that the inclusion of the health aspect will open the door to abortion on demand.

“The final amendment must reflect the final principles of protecting the women, doctors and life,” Abela said.

Greening projects

Speaking on the party’s pledge to introduce open spaces at the centre of communities, Abela said society will benefit from the drive to regenerate urban environments “dominated by cars.”

He announced plans which will see a large area of the Sant’Antnin recycling plant converted into a public garden.

The news comes after government earlier this week announced ‘Project Green’ will be coordinating Labour’s €700 million urban greening pledge.