Archbishop Paul Cremona and Gozo Bishop Mario Grech said yesterday that the death of Malian migrant Muhammed Abdalla raises some very serious questions and they asked whether the incident should serve as an occasion to re-assess the current detention policy, as well as the situation and the environment that detainees live in. Mr Abdalla died last Friday while in custody of the Detention Services and Armed Forces of Malta, soon after he was captured following an attempt to escape from Safi detention centre. Three soldiers were arraigned in court last Sunday, and two were charged with the murder of Mr Abdalla. The bishops expressed sorrow and concern over Mr Abdalla’s tragic death, and solidarity with the community of migrants living in Malta, particularly those from Mali. The death of Mr Abdalla again raises very serious questions, said the bishops, asking what led to the death of a person whom the forces of order were responsible for. “We expect the judgement of the competent institutions as soon as possible, to put the Maltese people’s and the migrants’ community’s minds at rest. “Another question is whether this incident should be an occasion for a reflection on the current detention policy, as well as the situation and the environment that detainees live in. Could there be alternatives to different situations that migrants experience? Our fundamental guiding principle should always be the full respect for the dignity of every person,” they said.(independent.com.mt) Malta in the European Union is best housed about it it seems.
Former priests' appeal: Judgement on October 26
The judgement on the appeals of two former priests convicted of child abuse will be delivered on October 26. The final submissions by both the prosecution and the defence were heard in court this morning as the accused stood in the dock and two of the victims fidgeted as they heard the proceedings. During today’s hearing, the sitting was stopped for 20 minutes while the judge, the prosecution and the defence watched a video in which victim Laurence Grech stripped a 12-year-old boy naked. The two former priests Godwin Scerri and Charles Pulis, both members of the Missionary Society of St Paul, were sentenced to five and six years in prison respectively for sexually abusing boys in their care. A third member of the same Order, Bro. Joseph Bonnett, who had been facing the same charges, passed away two years ago. Prosecutor Elaine Rizzo, from the Attorney General’s office, said the defence had tried to attack victim Laurence Grech by saying that he had agreed with the other victims to come up with the abuse story. But it was only after Mr Grech spoke on Bondi+ had the other victims come forward. This showed that there had been was no such arrangement. This also gave Mr Grech absolute credibility. She referred to an instance when a social worker saw one of the priests with an erection while playing around with one of the boys. Dr Grech said that although she was not a man, she had seen men playing around with children and none had had an erection. Such behaviour, she said, could not be justified and was completely unacceptable.(timesofmalta.com) Judging priests was something tragic.
Man charged with corrupting policemen, witness
A 28-year-old man from Sta Venera this morning pleaded not guilty to corrupting three policemen and a witness in a court case in which he is being accused of drug trafficking. The accused, Matthew Bajada is awaiting trial for the importation of 20,000 ecstasy pills and 600 grammes of cocaine from Tunisia in 2009. Mr Bajada had arrived from Tunisia on a boat with Joseph Camilleri. The drugs were found packed in a car panel. Today, Mr Bajada was charged with corrupting Mr Camilleri and police officers David Borg, Carmen Gauci and Carlos Axisa.(timesofmalta.com) Corruption Is a recurring pain in Malta?