Fenech Adami blasts corruption after resignation of FTS chief

Beppe Fenech Adami says resignation of the CEO of the Foundation for Tomorrow's Schools meant that a new case of corruption was surfacing every week •  PN deputy leader says police commissioner Lawrence Cutajar is allowing political interference within police force

The resignation of the chief executive officer of the Foundation for Tomorrow’s Schools, Philip Rizzo, showed how a new case of corruption was surfacing every week, PN deputy leader Beppe Fenech Adami said today.

Fenech Adami’s comments came in the wake of a MaltaToday report which revealed that Philip Rizzo resigned his post after alleging corruption in the issuing of direct orders for renovation of government schools.

“Every week a new case of corruption surfaces. They are following each other with such rapidity that people are forgetting the previous cases of corruption that have engulfed the government,” Fenech Adami said.

The police are investigating Rizzo’s claims, which the 65-year-old made in September after making specific references to the role played by Edward Caurana, an aide to the education minister at the FTS in his capacity responsible for directors.

Rizzo informed the Prime Minister of the allegations, and an investigated was subsequently initiated by the OPM’s internal audit and investigations department (IAID).

Speaking on Radio 101, Beppe Fenech Adami, the shadow minister on home affairs, hit out at police commissioner Lawrence Cutajar for giving his blessing to political interference within the police force.

His comments were made after MaltaToday revealed last week how former Malta international  Daniel Bogdanovic was released from arrest after a request by a government official to allow Bogdanovic to play.

“The police commissioner is allowing political interference in the police force … The public’s trust in the police is at an all-time low, and as a result the police officers themselves are not motivated and feeling demoralised,” he said.

“The government ordered an inquiry into the release of Daniel Bogdanovic. Since it is an internal inquiry, there is no obligation for the government to publish the inquiry. Moreover, it later transpired that the person heading the inquiry [former AFM Brigadier Carmel Vassallo] is a relative of the minister. How can the inquiry be correctly carried out?” Fenech Adami said.

MaltaToday reported that the former Malta international was arrested for threatening his wife and carrying a licensed gun outside his Ghajnsielem residence only to be released from his arrest just hours after being hauled into custody by the Gozo police, to make a 3pm kick off next day for a football match.

It was only on Monday, a day after the match, that the 36-year-old midfielder was placed under arrest over the domestic incident that included threats against his wife, and was subsequently arraigned.

The government since ordered an inquiry into the release, while Jesmond Zammit - the head of secretariat at the parliamentary secretariat for EU funds who is also the coach of Bogdanovic's Xewkija Tigers – suspended himself pending the inquiry.

Both Zammit and Gozo minister Anton Refalo – who in the past had lent his support to the club as a bank guarantor for the acquisition of the Xewkija Tigers football club premises – have denied interfering in the police’s investigation.