News | Sunday, 03 January 2010

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Parl Sec’s driver to be charged over mocked-up vandal ‘attack’

Mario Galea’s official car ‘vandalised’ by his own driver to cover up damage from traffic incident, by scrawling ‘MLP’ on the side

Criminal proceedings are to be instituted against the driver of parliamentary secretary Mario Galea, after MaltaToday made enquiries about police inquiries into a mocked-up vandal attack on the official car of the junior minister.
MaltaToday is informed the driver, from Galea’s home town of Zejtun, admitted to police that he had deliberately vandalised the car after he was involved in a driving incident, which left some damage on the official vehicle.
The circumstances under which the incident happened are unclear, but MaltaToday understands that the vandal ‘attack’ was intended to cover up the damages incurred in the traffic incident.
The attack was also intended to give the impression that it was a political attack, since the initials ‘MLP’ were scratched on the car’s surface.
When police began their investigation, they questioned the driver himself, who admitted to having vandalised the car. But charges were never filed against him in the first place.
When asked for the reason why charges were not filed, the Office of the Prime Minister directed MaltaToday to the Police media relations unit.
At 5pm, a police spokesperson informed MaltaToday that the police had “concluded their investigations into the case under reference and criminal proceedings shall be instituted against a person.”
Shortly after, the OPM spokesperson said the driver submitted his resignation on 24 December and that “other actions will be determined following the conclusion of the investigations by the Police, and subsequent proceedings”
Press reports on the day did not mention that the driver of the parliamentary secretary had been identified.
Instead it was reported that the official car had been the target of vandals during the night, with several scratches and “obscene words” against Galea himself showing part of the damage to the vehicle. The car was parked outside the residence of Galea’s driver in Zejtun.
The attack was an occasion for both the Nationalist and Labour parties to chip in with a message of condemnation on the vandal attack, most especially after the initials ‘MLP’ were scratched on the car.
But no mention was subsequently made of the results of the police investigation, contrary to the usual tradition of making public announcements on such cases.
Galea is the parliamentary secretary responsible for the care of the elderly, and is also overseeing the campaign to counter the spread of the H1N1 virus.

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