Assistant Commissioner called Gozo police about Bogdanovic before bail

At least three sources privy to the details of the aftermath of the footballer's aftermath have said that it was one of the Assistant Commissioners who asked police inspectors about the circumstances of the Bogdanovic arrest

Daniel Bogdanovic holding a Xewkija Tigers shirt
Daniel Bogdanovic holding a Xewkija Tigers shirt

The Gozitan police officers who were connected to the arrest of former Malta international Daniel Bogdanovic were called on their phones by an Assistant Commissioner in Malta, enquiring about the reasons for the arrest.

MaltaToday has been by at least three sources privy to the details of the arrest’s aftermath, that it was one of the Assistant Commissioners stationed in Malta, who asked police inspector Edel Mary Camilleri and superintendent Antonello Grech as to the circumstances of the Bogdanovic arrest.

This newspaper understands that the inquiries brought about a gentle pressure at the Gozo police command as the police inspector weighed the possibility of giving Bogdanovic an “early” release by placing him on police bail, instead of keeping him in jail so that he could be arraigned before Magistrate Joanna Vella Cuschieri on Monday 1 November.

So far, MaltaToday editors Saviour Balzan and Matthew Vella have not been summoned to testify in front of the inquiry board headed by former AFM Brigadier Carmel Vassallo.

Bogdanovic was arrested on Saturday evening, 30 October, when his wife and her brother – Ghajnsielem footballer Ferdinando Apap – filed a report over a threatening SMS he sent his wife. When police arrested Bogdanovic, a charge was also filed in connection with his licensed firearm, ostensibly due to the circumstances in which the firearm was found next to its bullets.

MaltaToday understands that inspector Edel Mary Camilleri had already informed duty magistrate Joanna Vella Cuschieri that Bogdanovic would be kept in jail until he is arraigned on Monday morning.

It was on Sunday that an Assistant Commissioner contacted both the inspector and superintendent asking about details of the arrest.

Inspector told to release Bogdanovic before Xewkija game

On Sunday Bogdanovic was released on police bail, when the message was made clear to both Edel Mary Camilleri and Antonello Grech that the footballer was expected to make a 3pm kick-off so that his team Xewkija Tigers could face off Kercem FC.

Since MaltaToday broke the news of the police bail for Bogdanovic, the Xewkija Tigers coach Jesmond Zammit – who is the head of secretariat at Ian Borg’s parliamentary secretariat for EU funds – has suspended himself from his job pending an inquiry.

The inquiry is being headed by former AFM brigadier Carmel Vassallo, who is a brother-in-law to home affairs minister Carmelo Abela. The appointment has been heavily criticised by the Opposition.

Vassallo is expected to carry out his inquiry over the course of three weeks but he has yet to contact the MaltaToday editors responsible for the story.

MaltaToday had reported that it was a ministry official who requested Bogdanovic’s release. The news has led Anton Refalo, the minister for Gozo – who in the past had provided Xewkija Tigers with a bank guarantee for the acquisition of their club premises – to emphatically deny having made any pressure on Gozo police for the release of Bogdanovic.

Bogdanovic coaches minister’s son at Xewkija nursery

Gozo minister Anton Refalo has insistently denied knowing Daniel Bogdanovic, however the former malta international coached the minister’s son at the Xewkija Tigers football nursery. 

In an interview with Sunday newspaper Illum, Refalo denied knowing or meeting Bogdanovic, who was released from arrest after a police official requested he be allowed to play a football match.

“I deny calling the police, I do not even know this Bogdanovic and I have never spoken to him in my life,” Refalo said.

However, MaltaToday understands that Bogdanovic coaches Refalo’s son in Xewkija’s Under-15 side. 

Refalo, had lent his support to the club as a bank guarantor for the acquisition of the Xewkija Tigers football club premises.