Relinquishment of AFM appointments politically motivated - Azzopardi

Opposition MP Jason Azzopardi says three senior AFM officers have appointments relinquished for political reasons 

Three senior army officers have had their previous appointments relinquished, meaning that they could keep their rank without exercising their authority, opposition MP Jason Azzopardi said in parliament today.

This was confirmed by document he tabled in Parliament which showed that Brigadier Geoffrey Curmi ordered and signed the relinquishment of the appointment of Lt Col I Ruggier, his wife Major R Ruggier, and Lt Col KA Summut on 13 October.
The document confirms the relinquishment of the appointment of the two commanders at the Hal Far and Safi detention centres and of the second-in-command at the Safi detention centre.

Describing the relinquishments as “unprecedented, Azzopardi said was a clear attempt to demoralise the high-ranking officers, “who are not close to the Labour core.”

Azzopardi said the relinquishment was exceptional given that the only time a similar decision was taken this was in relation two officers who failed a security screening.

Speaking during a Parliamentary debate on the unionisation of disciplined corps, Azzopardi also accused home affairs minister Manuel Mallia of procrastinating in the institutional impasse involving the Ombudsman to “force the Ombudsman into taking the case to court, where it will take at least two years to have a court ruling, by which time the current Ombudsman’s term will come to an end.”

The Nationalist MP also claimed that certain sections in the police force had run out of money to the extent that some inspectors were picked up by a prison van because police cars could not be repaired and some offices had no money to replace printer ink toners.