02 APRIL 2003

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Labour shifts focus to drugs

Into the fourth week of electoral campaigning and the Labour Party has shifted its focus on security issues, with Labour leader Alfred Sant yesterday announcing a hard-line stance against what he described the drug ‘industry’.
Flanked by MPs Gavin Gulia and Anglu Farrugia, Sant reiterated the party’s resolve to combat drug trafficking tooth and nail. Among the proposals announced was the setting up of a drugs court to deal with drug-related cases in a short time span.
The Labour leader did not fail to pinpoint the shortfalls of the present Nationalist administration. He highlighted last summer’s bribery charges against two judges as the climax of a degenerated system where drug barons have come to operate with impunity. Uncharacteristic for a left-leaning party, the proposals unveiled yesterday showed a Labour Party adamantly concerned about drug law enforcement. Sant did say that first time offenders would be helped to rehabilitate themselves but would not elaborate further.
He added that a Labour government would not be spending millions on Malta’s participating in the Rapid Reaction Force and instead the money would be spent to ensure better patrols of Malta’s coast.
Taking questions from journalists present Sant said that a Labour government would be keeping the Security Service but it would be regulated in such a manner as to ensure accountability.
Speaking before Sant, both Gavin Gulia and Anglu Farrugia dwelt on the shortcomings of the present administration. They said that after the bribery allegations shocked the whole system last summer the Labour Party set up a commission to discuss ways and means on how to tackle security and judicial issues.

Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
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