Prime Minister shouldn't be spokesman for police commissioner, Adrian Delia says

Delia said that he had asked for, and had been granted, a meeting with the President of the Republic in order to officially express his concern about the unfolding events which, Delia said, were a threat to Malta’s democracy.

Opposition Leader Adrian Delia
Opposition Leader Adrian Delia

The Prime Minister should not be a spokesman for the police commissioner, and neither should he take the role of the Attorney General or head of the Armed Forces, Opposition Leader Adrian Delia said in a radio interview today.

In his weekly radio address on Saturday, Delia said that although the separation of powers is established in the Constitution, what the Prime Minister was doing showed that the distinction between executive, legislative and judicial powers were being blurred. “It is not acceptable for the Prime Minister to take on the role of others whose duties are constitutionally established, as this hinders the work that these institutions should be carrying out,” Delia said on PN radio station Radio 101.

Over the last few days since the arrests of an alleged “middleman” in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia and of businessman Yorgen Fenech, it has been the Prime Minister who has delivered daily updates on the police investigation. Fenech was arrested a day after the PM mooted the possibility of a presidential pardon that could be offered to the middleman if evidence he provided stands up in court.

Delia said that he had asked for, and had been granted, a meeting with the President of the Republic in order to officially express his concern about the unfolding events which, Delia said, were a threat to Malta’s democracy.

The Prime Minister had chosen to act as the spokesman for the police, has said that he had given advice to the Armed Forces, and was also negotiating a presidential pardon, said Delia, adding that there are other institutions who should be responsible for this.

Muscat had also publicly said that he has been waiting two years to speak about certain matters that he had held close to his chest. “If the PM had information in his possession, why did he not speak up? And should this information have been in his possession in the first place?” Delia asked.

“The PM likes to say that who does not fight against corruption is corrupt,” said the politician. “I add something else. Who is corrupt cannot fight corruption.”

He referred to the withdrawal of a libel case instituted by Muscat’s right hand man, OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri, saying that this had provided the Prime Minister with a “golden opportunity” to dismiss Schembri.

But Schembri had returned to his post and the Prime Minister was defending him again, despite Schembri not wanting to testify in court so as not to incriminate himself, Delia said.

Delia went on to compare the situation with the dismissals of former PL ministers Manwel Mallia and Michael Falzon, who were forced to resign for wrongdoings which were far less serious to the allegations against Schembri and energy minister Konrad Mizzi.

Stating that it was “clear that Muscat is being held hostage” by Mizzi and Schembri, Delia invited Labour suporters who were “disgusted by the situation to come forward and express their disdain.”

 

 

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