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Phone logs request was part of investigation into alleged corruption of witness by police officer

The Police this afternoon defended their decision to request phone logs in the ongoing controversy over a meeting between the Chief of Staff at the Ministry of Home Affairs and a man who was wrongly accused of a hold-up, saying the request was made as part of investigations into alleged attempted corruption of a witness by a police officer.

The police were reacting to comments at a press conference yesterday by Nationalist MPs Beppe Fenech Adami and Jason Azzopardi.

The Police Commissioner, Peter Paul Zammit, said last week that according to phone logs, it was the family of Darryl Luke Borg which had contacted the Ministry. Mr Borg, his mother and convicted criminal Charles Attard had a meeting with Silvio Scerri a day before being asked to give evidence before the Police Board.

Dr Azzopardi, who had insisted that it was the ministry which sought the meeting, also argued yesterday that the Police Commissioner had no right at law to request the phone logs unless he was investigating a crime where the punishment was not below a year imprisonment.

In their statement, the Police said that apart from the Police Board investigation into the circumstances leading to the mistaken arraignment, the police themselves were investigating the subsequent alleged attempted corruption of a witness by a police officer, as confirmed in the affidavit by Darryl Luke Borg's mother. This crime, including tampering with evidence carried a prison term of more than a year, especially if committed by a public officer. This justified the request for the call profile.

The call and sms profile listed phone and sms numbers for up to a year and the time of calls but not the content of conversations, the police said.

Call profiles we sought only for investigative purpose and were not in the public domain, unless produced in court.

Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Peter Paul Zammit said today that he expected those who were making allegations against him to produce evidence.

The Commissioner was asked for his reaction over the allegations made by the opposition yesterday by Dr Azzopardi.  

“Whoever is making the allegations must get proof,” were the only comments made by the Commissioner.

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