Silvio Scerri denies calling minister’s driver following shoot out

Home affairs ministry chief of staff Silvio Scerri says he hardly knows minister’s chauffeur and does not have his phone number

Manuel Mallia (left) with chief of staff Silvio Scerri
Manuel Mallia (left) with chief of staff Silvio Scerri

Home affairs minister Manuel Mallia’s chief of staff Silvio Scerri denied he called the minister’s chauffeur to instruct him to lie and say that he fired warning shots into the air and not in the car driven by a British national.

In comments to MaltaToday, Scerri said he had sent a right of reply to PN daily in-Nazzjon to deny reports that he had called the minister’s chauffeur in the aftermath of Wednesday’s incident in which the driver shot twice at a car driven by Stephen Smith.

“I did not call Sheehan. I do not even have his number as I hardly know him,” Scerri said of his minister's personal driver.

Moreover, Mallia’s chief of staff said that he has his call log to prove this and if asked to appear in front of the inquiry being held he will present the information.

Yesterday, MaltaToday reported that questions will be raised on Scerri, who called this  newspaper on the night of the incident to ‘correct’ the initial report and insist that the shots Sheehan fired into a vehicle were “warning shots” fired in the air.

It was only on Thursday morning that photos showing the bullet holes in the rear of Stephen Smith’s vehicle corroborated the original report.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has gone on record saying that Mallia, who at the time of the incident was at the Floriana police headquarters, was neither on the scene nor had he given any instructions to Sheehan, almost exonerating his minister from political responsibility.