Nicholas Azzopardi's family claim damages in judicial protest over his death
The father of a man who died after allegedly having been beaten up at police headquarters has presented a judicial protest holding his daughter-in-law, her mother, the former minister for home affairs, a number of policemen, a court expert, a social worker and a doctor responsible for damages.
Reno Azzopardi and his family said that his son Nicholas Azzopardi was arrested on April 8, 2008 following claims that he had molested his young daughter Kimberly.
He was held at police headquarters until the following day, during which period he suffered serious injuries while under custody. As a consequence, he passed away in hospital on April 22, 2008.
Mr Azzopardi said Nicholas Azzopardi's arrest was based on untrue claims by Claudette Azzopardi, Nicholas’s wife, and her mother Antonia Patiniott with collusion or gross negligence of a social worker assigned by Agenzija Appogg and members of the police force.
Furthermore, Nicholas Azzopardi’s death was not accidental or self-inflicted, but the consequence of an action or serious dereliction of duty by members of the police force while he was under arrest.
There were also serious shortcomings in the medical care given to Nicholas Azzopardi at Mater Dei Hospital, contributing to his death.
Mr Azzopardi said there were blatant shortcomings in the investigations and inquiries into Nicholas’s death by various people including the court expert. There was a cover-up of what had happened, and important evidence had been hidden or destroyed.
The protest was also made by other members of the Azzopardi family.
It was filed against Claudette Azzopardi nee Patinott, Antonia Patinott, former Home Affairs Minister Dr. Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici, court expert Dr. Martin Bajada, Police Superintendent Alexandra Mamo, Inspector Graziella Muscat, Inspector Paul Caruana, Sergeant Adrian Lia, Sergeant Reuben Zammit, social worker Melissa Xuereb, and medical doctor Charles Grixti.