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NEWS | Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Azzopardi’s father passes case on to anti-torture watchdog

Karl Schembri

Nicholas Azzopardi’s father has presented the case of the mysterious death of his son after his arrest and interrogation at police headquarters to the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture last Monday.
In a lengthy presentation to foreign experts who were on an official visit to Malta, Joseph Azzopardi went through all the details of his son’s case – from his custody at police headquarters to the damning declarations made on his death bed on 22 April, 13 days since he claimed he was beaten up by his interrogators.
The high profile committee reports regularly about Council of Europe member states and is expected to submit its report on Malta’s detention conditions towards mid summer.
It is then up to the government to decide whether to publish it or not, although the Malta report has always been published together with the government’s replies.
The experts, who left Malta yesterday, are expected to investigate the most problematic aspects of the island’s detention systems, conditions of arrest, reports of inhuman and degrading treatment and torture.
Meanwhile Azzopardi’s brother, Reno, yesterday presented to inquiring magistrate Tonio Vella the camera card carrying the original footage of his brother making the serious claims about police torture hours before he died.
Besides Magistrate Vella’s inquiry, government appointed retired judge Albert Manché to conduct a parallel inquiry soon after the Azzopardi family made the case public on MaltaToday.


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