15 August 2001
Special editorial comment
Why the Commissioner of Police should temporarily withdraw from his post
We have lived for the last thirty years, in the Mintoff- Fenech Adami era.
Two personalities, who are milestones in the political history of this small country.
The former was a decisive, charismatic but arrogant man who lacked respect for the basic pillars that make a democracy in a civilised country.
Eddie Fenech Adami on the other hand, a pensive person, mulling over a decision but clear in his goals and with the dream of taking Malta into Europe.
He too a visionary; who changed the face of Malta.
When it comes to ethics, Fenech Adami is miles ahead of Dom Mintoff but then he is not without fault.
He has on far too many occasions stood by decisions, which may have been questionable from an ethical point of view.
He has had this tendency to defend his turf at all costs.
And with this we refer to the latest case involving the Police Commissioner which our sister newspaper, MaltaToday reported in last Sundays issue.
In that report we confirmed, that Mr George Grech was facing a magisterial inquiry over allegations of sexual harassment. This is not a frivolous allegation.
Mr George Grech is innocent until proven guilty but the secrecy connected to the whole case fuels suspicion.
Our information reads that a relative to the alleged aggrieved person reported this to the Office of the Prime Minister, an inquiry headed by Magistrate Miriam Hayman was then opened.
Continues on backpageSubsequent press statements talked of a Home Affairs minister who stated he did know about the inquiry and a Commissioner who said that he had learnt about the inquiry from the press and a Prime Minister who called on us to refer us to the above-mentioned statements.
If this is the way things are to develop, then with all due respect the press and public should opt for pottering rather than moralising.
We cannot accept the statement by the Home Affairs minister that he did not know anything about the inquiry and we find it more difficult to believe that the Commissioner of the Police and head of the secret service learnt of the inquiry on Sunday.
We also find it preposterous to receive a reply from the Prime Ministers communications coordinator in reply to a question put to him; that we should refer to previous statements by the Home Affairs minister and the Commissioner of Police.
What is this? We ask the Prime Minister if he believes the Commissioner should withdraw from his post temporarily pending the inquiry and we get a waffled reaction.
This country insists it is a democracy but does it act like one? To have a Commissioner accused of such a crime and pretend that everything is normal is unacceptable.
The Prime Minister must look at the long term and observe that the issue has nothing to do with a fanciful dream concocted by the Opposition.
And the other media who have recently taken to castigating themselves
over ethics in journalism, should inject some adrenaline and do their
readers a great favour and answer the wake up call.