Last week police took a prisoner accused of the Caruana Galizia assassination to hospital. I shared this news story with a question about their tactics and the internet went nuts. What did I do wrong?
For those of you who weren’t following the Caruana Galizia case here’s a quick refresher.
Journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated in October 2017. Three men were arrested following a police investigation. Last week, the police took one of them to the hospital. They all wore bulletproof vests and balaclavas.
This was the most brutal public assassination in Maltese history.
I smiled when I saw the photograph.
This was the most brutal public assassination in Maltese history. The government has argued the three people arrested are the ones who are guilty. They refute arguments there is a mastermind who hired these three thugs to carry out the hit. In the past, the ruling Labour Party had also threatened Ms Caruana Galizia. This suggests they wouldn’t want investigations into their own behaviour.
Some local journalists are frank about their suspicions that organised crime is behind the assassination. They also state they wouldn’t publish under fear of death threats.
There are two clear possibilities here:
- The government’s claim that these three are the guilty ones.
- Most people’s conclusion that organised crime is behind the assassination.
I shared the article with a simple comment asking if anyone could explain why the police were trying so hard to cover their faces and hide their identities.
The internet went nuts. There are 103 comments on that Facebook post.
Take a look:
It soon became clear what the fuss was all about.
The gist of many people’s comment was simple:
- Law enforcement needs to protect their identity.
- Our island is too small. Police and criminals drink at the same kazin (pub). Covering their faces protects them and their families.
- People try to find out who you are if you give them a simple parking ticket, let alone in cases as serious as this.
- The US Drug Enforcement Agency and the Italian anti-mafia squads wear balaclavas so why shouldn’t the Maltese police do so?
One or two people even posted photos proving their point. Some of those photos did not prove their point but I appreciate the effort and I do see what these commentators mean.
For the record, I think taking all necessary precautions is the right thing to do. If organised crime can reach out to target our police force and their families, the police do the right thing when they conceal their identity.
Taking precautions is the right thing to do. The police did the right thing.
It is, in fairness, what happens abroad too.
Why did these people get so agitated when I posted this?
People thought I criticised the police for wearing protective gear.
For clarity’s sake here’s what I wrote:
There’s no criticism of the police in these two questions.
What puzzled me is simple:
- If the government is right then the assassination was not planned by organised crime. The police are foolish to cover themselves up like this.
- If the police are right then organised crime ordered Mrs Caruana Galizia’s death. The police did the right thing by covering themselves up.
Both of these statements cannot be true.
I trust the police more than I trust the government on this point. Someone who’s putting his life on the line is more trustworthy than someone who has a job because he won an election. I have criticised the police force before but that was criticism of how its run, not of their tactics.
If I’m right, the police admit organised crime is rife on our small island. Moreover, they’re telling us there is an organisation powerful enough to reach out and harm or kill police officers, i.e., the people who should keep us safe. And they’re telling us this organisation is behind the Caruana Galizia assassination.
This contradicts what the government’s official position is.
Either the police are right, or the government is. They can’t both be.
I’m not holding my breath for a clarification from the government though.
But I’d like to know why they’re denying it because it would be awful if they’re protecting organised crime.
Share this article if you don’t want a government that works with organised crime.
- The Silencing of Daphne; Stephen Grey; Reuters; 2018-04-17
- Man accused of murdering Caruana Galizia taken to hospital; The Malta Independent; 2018-12-05
- Government cannot redeem itself by arresting three hitmen; Jurgen Balzan; The Shift News; 2018-10-18
- Malta tries to bury new sleaze claims; Tom Kington; The Times of London; 2017-11-25
- Discover what Malta’s Police Commissioner should have done; Antoine P Borg; Brain, not ego; 2018-03-13
All references were valid and correct when this article was published. Changes to referenced websites or web pages may render some references invalid. If this is the case, please leave a comment below.
Written by: Antoine P Borg
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