Sarah Attard Gialanze
A former police constable suspected of involvement in the homicide of PC Mark Farrugia, who was found dead in Tarxien in March 1999, was not granted the right to rejoin the police force after claiming he had suffered from an abuse of power.
Former constable Kevin Falzon was dismissed from the force after being investigated in connection with the murder of PC Mark Farrugia, when Police Commissioner John Rizzo recommended him for dismissal to the Public Service Commission.
Throughout the course of investigations into Farrugia’s death, a number of 9mm bullets were found in Falzon’s house. Acting on the findings and reports that Falzon frequented people with a criminal record, a fact Falzon said was due to his work as a security escort, Rizzo referred the officer for dismissal in 2000.
He had earlier on recommended Falzon to resign from the force voluntarily.
Falzon had also been investigated on the strength of reports from other officers that days before Farrugia’s homicide, he had repeatedly inquired of the whereabouts of Neolithic Temples street in Tarxien, the street where Farrugia was found dead.
Although Kevin Falzon was exonerated from suspicion, Commissioner John Rizzo had claimed the officer’s behaviour was unbecoming of his role, recommending him for dismissal from the force.
Last week, the Court of Appeal dismissed Falzon’s appeal to reconsider a decision by the First Court in 2005, which ruled against his reinstatement in the force, in an action he filed against the Commissioner of Police.
Falzon claimed he was not given a fair hearing before the public service commission, but the Appeals Court dismissed his claim because he had not contested the PSC’s decision in court.
The court said the Commissioner’s recommendation could not be considered unreasonable, given that as a police officer, Falzon had been seen socialising with criminals. “It is hard for the public to place trust in the police force when it sees a member of the force in a relationship of ‘friendship’ with persons ‘notorious’ with the force itself,” the court said.
“The decision to dismiss Falzon was not taken by the Commissioner, but by the PSC, and that decision is not being attacked in these procedures.”