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Activists await reply to call for officer’s removal from FIAU

A minister's husband sitting on board is 'conflict of interest', activists says

Silvio Valletta

Silvio Valletta

Activists have heard nothing yet about a request for the Gozo Minister’s husband, Deputy Police Commissioner Silvio Valletta, to be removed from the government’s anti-money laundering agency.

The request was made in a letter to Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar and Finance Minister Edward Scicluna last week. They demanded Mr Valletta should have no role within the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit.

Their request was made after the Court of Appeal ordered that the officer should no longer form part of the team investigating the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia as his presence breached the fundamental rights of the blogger’s family.

Amounted to a conflict of interest

The activists insisted that having a minister’s husband sitting on the board of governors of the anti-money laundering agency, tasked with investigating crimes, including by political persons, amounted to a conflict of interest.

Questions to both the minister and the Police Commissioner on whether, following the court decision, Mr Valletta would be removed remained unanswered by the time of writing, despite reminders. They were also asked whether they still believed there no case of conflict of interest and whether they had replied to the activists’ letter.

The police said after the Appeal Court’s decision last week it took note of the judgment, pointing out that the officer was no longer involved in the investigation.

Read: Deputy Police Commissioner must step down from Caruana Galizia case - court

The Office of the Prime Minister pointed out that the court had found no breach of the European Convention of Human Rights, which guaranteed everyone the right to a fair trial.

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