Pending police inquiries ‘to be published at opportune moment’ - PM

Prime Minister says pending inquiries on former police commissioner Peter Paul Zammit and wrongful prosecution of 27-year-old Darryl Luke Borg will be published in due course

Former Police Commissioner Peter Paul Zammit.
Former Police Commissioner Peter Paul Zammit.

Two inquiries involving the Police Corps will be published at the “opportune moment”, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat told parliament.

The Prime Minister was replying to a question raised by Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi who urged Muscat “to instruct” Home Affairs Minister Manuel Mallia to immediately publish the two reports in full.

“Contrary to procedures adopted in previous legislatures, the inquiries will be published at the opportune moment,” Muscat replied.

The first report investigated the actions of former Police Commissioner Peter Paul Zammit relating to a case in 2013, when the station sergeant charged a Marsaxlokk man with assaulting police officers, disobeying police orders and breaching the public peace.

However, the charges were later suspended and withdrawn in December. Reports arose that Zammit himself had told the police to drop the case. Six months later Zammit resigned as chief of police and was appointed coordinator for security in national events.

The second report, an internal inquiry ordered by Zammit himself, followed an original investigation by a police board inquiry headed by judge emeritus Franco Depasquale.

The original inquiry into the case concluded that Police Inspector Elton Taliana had failed to inform investigating officers that a second suspect had been interrogated and admitted to committing the crime while Borg was in prison for a crime he didn't commit. It also recommended that disciplinary measures should be taken against Taliana.

Subsequently, Zammit ordered an internal inquiry to establish what led investigators to wrongly charge Borg. The new inquiry board had been given two weeks to draw up a report on the mistake made by police officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

“I want to avoid such mistakes happening but from experience it is difficult to eliminate all mis- takes – by using more caution and better communication we can reduce this possibility,” Zammit had told The Times. He also added that he would make the findings public to put people’s minds at rest.

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