Abela's decision 'morally, ethically and politically wrong' - Beppe Fenech Adami
Toni Abela’s decision not to report a case of drug trafficking was morally, ethically and politically wrong, Home Affairs parliamentary assistant Beppe Fenech Adami said.
Addressing a news conference on two recordings featuring PL deputy leader Toni Abela, Dr Fenech Adami said this was not a matter of whether or not Dr Abela had acted legally or illegally but a matter of ethics.
PN general secretary Paul Borg Olivier commented extensively on the language used in the clips, which were shown during the conference, and said that the second was more shocking than the first.
This was because whereas in the first recording, Dr Abela admitted he had interfered by asking a Labourite policeman not to proceed with investigations, in the second he stifled an investigation by not reporting a serious crime.
He said that this recording also showed an element of two weights and two measures.
For while PL leader Joseph Muscat was standing by Dr Abela, which was scandalous, in the case of former deputy leader Anglu Farrugia he had asked him to resign on the strength of a comment.
He noted that in two separate television programmes deputy leader Louis Grech and candidate Manwel Mallia said they would have acted differently to Dr Abela.
Dr Borg Olivier said that this case was very different to that of Minister Austin Gatt, who had only been mentioned in an e-mail. Dr Abela, on the other hand, was heard admitting to unethical decisions.
Dr Fenech Adami insisted that everybody was duty bound to report drug trafficking, a crime that could take the maximum punishment allowed by Maltese law, which was life imprisonment.
Dr Abela, he said, had acted in the interest of his party rather than in the interest of society.
He made reference to and quoted extensively from an interview with Dr Abela in The Times today and said that Dr Abela made things worse, such as when he gave the impression that he did the right thing by not reporting.
The majority of the Maltese, Dr Fenech Adami said, condemned those who closed their eyes to drug trafficking.
He said that it was now in the public interest for Dr Abela to disclose which was the Labour Party club that was being mentioned in the recordings and to say whether this was in the vicinity of a school since this would imply further criminal implications.
Dr Fenech Adami said that the reason the police could not take action was because there was no evidence and this was because Dr Abela had not reported the crime.
Asked about the Labour leader’s claim that the PN had opted to hold the recording for two years, Dr Fenech Adami said it was the court, and not the PN, that had brought up the recordings.