Home Affairs minister skirts around questions on ‘inhumane cage’ at CCF

Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri fails to answer parliamentary question on inhumane cage at prison’s Division 5, instead opting to speak about reforms carried out in past weeks and months

Corradino Correction Facility (File photo: MaltaToday)
Corradino Correction Facility (File photo: MaltaToday)

The Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri has skirted around questions on whether there was a “cage” attached to a prison cell at the Corradino Correctional Facility.

Nationalist MP Mark Anthony Sammut asked the minister whether there was a cage attached to a Division 5 prison cell aimed at isolating and humiliating unruly inmates. He also asked whether the cage was removed before an inspection by the Council of Europe’s anti-torture committee.

Camilleri failed to answer the questions put to him, instead stating the CCF’s administration has enacted wide reforms at the prison facility.

“In the last few months and years, continuous reforms and progress have been made by the Correctional Services Agency, where from a place with no form of order or rehabilitation, there is now an agency with several employees and professionals working every day for order and rehabilitation. These reforms and changes have been a long-term effort, and they are ongoing because there is an administration that believes in them, and not for any specific entity,” Camilleri said.

The Times of Malta reported last week the cage had been constructed at the entrance to a stone cell in Division 5 during the tenure of former prison director Alex Dalli. The inmate would be unable to roam freely in the division like the other prisoners or mingle with them.

The cage had been dismantled in September.

On Wednesday, the former prison director, who is now serving as government envoy to Libya, lost a libel against Mediatoday newspaper Illum and its editor Saviour Balzan on report claiming he held a gun in an inmate’s mouth.