Police interrogation in the land of free speech

Published: February 6, 2010 at 8:26am


This morning I have been summoned to the police headquarters for interrogation. I am going with a lawyer – not that I need one, but just to make a point about the right to a lawyer during interrogation, and how this law needs to be put into practice immediately rather than waiting for DNA testing equipment to arrive just because the police commissioner said so. The two issues of DNA testing equipment and the right to a lawyer during interrogation are unrelated.

I don’t need a lawyer because I know the police are untrustworthy and I can handle them. I had an early experience with Anglu Farrugia, after all, who kept me in a dark cell for 27 hours and then forced me to sign a false confession obtained through coercion and the threat that I would not be allowed to leave until I signed it.

If I could handle that piece of crap at 19 – and to think that Labour plans to make him minister of justice! – I can handle pretty much anything at 45.

If the police prevent my lawyer from entering the room with me, I shall tell you about it. And then I shall expect Joseph Muscat to put his money where his mouth is, and to issue a statement on the matter instead of just blathering on about the right to a lawyer, in parliament, to please his crowds and look good.

Or maybe he thinks there is one weight for me and another weight for everyone else.

57 Comments Comment

  1. edgar gatt says:

    Let us hope that L-orizzont does not have all the information within minutes of you leaving the police HQ. They are definitely not going to stop you and on the contrary giving you more ammunition to write about this sorry state of affairs. Anyway good luck. I am sure you will let us know how it goes!

    • Arthur Hill says:

      Rest assured that the spies at Police HQ will send a full report to their union leader John Pisani and it will be splashed both on l-Orizzont which has a sacred mission against Daphne and on Favourite channel where his son Brandon works.

  2. Curious says:

    Just wondering, what’s the crime here? Defamation is by word of mouth; libel requires publication; defiling a public officer must be committed during the public officer carrying out his/her official duties. The internet is not word of mouth; it’s not a “publication”, and we sure hope that these pics weren’t taken in court, so go figure.

  3. John Vella says:

    Make sure to take a printout of Consie’s photos with you…

    Go girl!!

  4. Leo Said says:

    I personally was expecting this move, which I personally consider to be licit within a framework of righteous justice in a law-abiding country.

    Is it not practice that one has a licit and legal right to be accompanied by a lawyer?

  5. Daniel Grima says:

    Best of luck with the police, Daphne – not that you need it! Keep up the good work. You’re a breath of fresh air for this country.

  6. J Busuttil says:

    Free speech is sacred. Hands off Daphne.

  7. Rover says:

    Daphne, the full force of clear thinking – unmuddled Maltese citizens around the world are right behind you.

  8. Dominic Fenech says:

    I don’t know about the law, but it strikes me as silly to call in Ms Caruana Galizia for questioning, especially when, presumably, all she has to say has been written here for all to read — and when there has been so much talk of free expression, albeit in a different context.

    Still, her best defence is that this is not at all about the magistrate, who is the decoy, but about the architect, to build up the pressure to stop him from contesting the casual election, and thus eliminate the chances of a serious crisis of government.

    [Daphne – Actually, Dominic, it is about the magistrate. Robert Musumeci doesn’t have to be forced out of the race because he wasn’t even in it to start with.]

    • maryanne says:

      Imma kif iddawru kollox. As if Daphne knew what the magistrate was going to babble about during her dinner party. As usual, we all forget from where it all started – the big mouth of the magistrate.

    • Twanny says:

      Musumeci was and still is in the running. There is no legal way he can be stopped.

      [Daphne – He doesn’t have the votes. The other man has to drop out of the race for that to happen.]

    • La Redoute says:

      Dominic Fenech: Crises of government come and go. But what would you do about crises in the justice system? I take it you do not favour bad behaviour on the bench – or under it or behind it, for that matter.

      • H. P. Baxxter says:

        Kont nahseb li l-onestà intelletwali kienet il-forte ta’ Dominic Fenech. Kelli zball.

  9. Babel says:

    I know this message might be too late, but never, ever speak to the police. It is not worth it. You have nothing to gain. This video explains it in great detail.

    Don’t bother with a lawyer either. If you don’t talk you don’t make mistakes. If you take a lawyer, and you don’t talk, your silence may be used to infer guilt in this democratic country.

    In any case I think that the legal notice regarding legal assistance comes into force on the 9th Feb., but I could be mistaken.


  10. Giga says:

    Take care, Daphne, and let us know that all is ok.

    I am quite sure that the thoughts of many are with you at the moment – far more than the many who are probably gloating about it. Pity that not everybody has the balls to speak out as you do, for fear of the consequences.

    Good luck!

  11. lawrence says:

    If the police prevent my lawyer from entering the room with me, I shall tell you about it. And then I shall expect Joseph Muscat to put his money where his mouth is, and to issue a statement on the matter instead of just blathering on about the right to a lawyer, in parliament, to please his crowds and look good.

    Or maybe he thinks …..

    May be one should expect the minister concerned and the government to put their money where their mouth is especially after several years since the law has been approved in parliament. Protocol should be followed not only in state dinners and celebrations.

    Anyway good luck

  12. Tim Ripard says:

    Go get ’em! Then tell us all about it!

  13. rose says:

    Good luck Daphne, You’ve got our support!

  14. D. Borg says:

    More often than not, I disagree with you – esp. due to what I perceive as your excessive PN bias. However on this issue and esp. this morning’s “development”, I am full square behind you and lend you all my support and solidarity.

  15. Joseph Micallef says:

    I’d dread being the interrogating police officer!

  16. Mike says:

    These people are insane! Don’t let them get to you Daphne! Take them down!

  17. P Zahra says:

    Keep us posted Daphne, and if there is anything I can do let me know. I pray that justice will prevail, but I also know that if it is to prevail we have to stand up and be counted. I salute your courage.

  18. Mark Portelli says:


    You have my support

  19. Leonard says:

    Should be an interesting column tomorrow. Inshallah.

  20. Mario DeBono says:

    So glad to see you’re back. I’m sure they were nice and offered you tea. I hope you didn’t land one of those who are busy falling over each other to appear hip and groovy to the PL guys, whilst our clueless minister looks on.

  21. Toothless Tiger says:

    Astrid Vella annoyed Musumeci, she was called in. Daphne Caruana Galizia annoyed Scerri Herrera, she was called. Ironic, or what?

  22. Mandy Mallia says:

    Welcome back to the blog, Mario.

    As somebody who is normally pretty vociferous here, you’ve been conspicuously silent these past few “blog-post days”. Any particular reason?

  23. happy birthday troy says:

    you’re simply the best

  24. Keep it up, Daphne – love to TROY.

  25. Hot Mama says:

    Daphne just provided the subtitles to the sordid pictures.

    • Antoine Vella says:

      The pictures are not sordid in themselves actually. They raise eyebrows because of whom they portray and the implications regarding the administration of justice. Being a magistrate is not just any job like being a clerk or a mechanic and the fact that the photos were uploaded (i.e. made public) by the magistrate herself shows how she lightly she takes her status.

      An investigative journalist who really wanted to dig up the truth would go through all the magistrate’s cases to see if any of them involved persons shown in the photos.

  26. Paul Bonnici says:

    The police force is still infested with the brutal policemen who were recruited during the Mintoff era. Now they hold senior rank and they are passing their habits on to the new recruits.

    The PN did not have the guts to get rid of these officers, instead they made friends with them to placate them and probably get their votes, but instead they are only perpetrating their thuggery.

  27. edgar gatt says:

    Paul Bonnici. Non esageriamo. The police force is not brutal at all. I agree with your claim that there are some individuals but you cannot compare today’s force with the police force of the 1980s. Instead of being asked to go for some interrogations and kept for a couple of hours, in the 1980s they would have kept D for two days in a filthy cell.

  28. Charlie says:

    Oh my my, how dare you expect Josph Muscat to put his money where his mouth is, and to issue a statement on the matter? It makes more sense if you wrote … I shall expect the prime minister ……….. Maybe you are already thinking of a Labour government. Sinjura Daphne hallina nghixu fil kwiet.

    [Daphne – You clearly do not understand the expression ‘putting your money where your mouth is’. It’s Joseph Muscat who has been big-talking about the right to a lawyer during interrogation, not the prime minister. I happen to agree with him, and I think it was wrong and stupid of the government to give the Labour Party – of all people – the moral high ground on what happens during police interrogation.]

    • Charlie says:

      Either you have a short memory or else you do not want to remember what the leader of the opposition then prime minister used to preach in the 80s.

    • Paul Bonnici says:

      If Labour were in power now, they would keep the status quo of the current police questioning procedures. The LP wants to win some brownie points here.

      I am disgusted at the way the PN failed to reform the justice system in Malta, including the stagnant, less-than-competent police force. The bad elements in police force prevail over the honest elements, and the baddies have their own way.

  29. Andrew Borg-Cardona says:

    The problem is, of course, that the law DOES NOT (I found out on reading it) allow for legal assistance during interrogation, so precisely what moral high ground Labour is seeking to occupy is unclear, given that they haven’t insisted on any changes.

    • maryanne says:

      This is news. It is not the impression everyone has. What’s there to be thankful for?

    • Leo Said says:

      @ Andrew Borg Cardona

      Many thanks for the information, which you provided for the users of this blog.

      Would it be possible for your good self to further explain whether DOES NOT ALLOW FOR could also simply mean DOES NOT ALLOW (prohibit)?

  30. P Borg says:

    Daphne, you’ll be passing through hell for just copying and pasting some photos… look at this story and see how justice is done in Gozo… shame you were not Gozitan…


    Please write something about this, the Maltese taxpayers are really sorry for what seems to be common practice in Gozo.

    • NGT says:

      Are you really so surprised at the outcome of the entire affair? Those pathetic excuses for educators should also have been booked for trying to defraud the Social Services. Three days without pay for such a gross dereliction of duty is simply disgusting!
      … and I wonder if the matter concerning the doctors who signed their sick leave certificates will even be looked into?

  31. Disenchanted says:

    Is she a good magistrate? That is the point! If this has compromised her decision making then she should resign, but I dont see that her personal life has anything to do with her performance in court.

    • La Redoute says:


      Her personal decision making appears to be compromised. Let’s put it this way: here’s a magistrate who puts the police onto you if you say something that bothers her. Can you trust your police interrogator to do the decent thing, given that he may suffer similar consequences were he to upset the magistrate himself?

      And if and when you appear in court before the magistrate herself, can you be sure that her decision-making is impartial? I’m not saying that it would certainly not be. I’m saying that you cannot be sure.

      You see? It’s not her current bed partner that’s the problem here. You cannot be so disenchanted that you can’t see that.

  32. Rover says:


    She is not a good magistrate because –

    1. she clearly cheated on her husband, which makes her by definition a liar;
    2. she left herself open to blackmail because of a clandestine affair;
    3. she invites members of the media, political parties and business to parties, openly cavorts with them and is photographed doing so;
    4. there are reports of questionable business activities connected with building development, one of which has led to an investigation by the Commission for the Administration of Justice, which is still on-going;
    5. she has lost the trust of the public;
    6. she does not have any respect left, and whatever the reasons for this loss of respect, once it’s gone, it’s gone.

    Her only option is to go quietly and not harm the judiciary any further.

    • La Redoute says:


      7. the corollary of nr 2. is that over familiarity with members of the police force leaves them open to blackmail too.

    • La Redoute says:

      Go quietly? Somehow, I don’t think so. Can you hear those sloshy slurps? That’s the sound of the usual suckers already kissing her posterior.

    • Alan says:

      add to point 3 above :

      …. and seems to believe she is so untouchable, that there were absolutely no worries whatsoever in posting them on such a public domain as facebook for all to see.

      Either that, or she was dumb enough not to realise that she was doing something wrong that, as a public figure, would blow up in her face.

      Megalomania, stupidity, a little of both?

      Whatever the answer, these are characteristics I expect from immature teenagers, not from someone who forms part of our judiciary.

      Does she think the public feels comfortable with her determining ANY court case …. after all this?

  33. lino says:

    As to #3 she let herself to be photographed and so happy with the outcome that the photographs were uploaded on Facebook – hers and her daughter’s.

  34. JBorg says:

    Seems like we are back to the police regime we had in the eighties. Government needs to take political responsibility for this shameful situation, where incidents of police abuse have become the order of the day. Just as the Labour government of the day was rightly chastised for the endorsement of the situation, similarly the Gonzi government is to be held responsible for today’s mess in the police force. It is bad enough that we are the most fundamentalist state in the western world, now we are getting a police state to support this!

  35. Cecile Roy says:

    Hello – you probably won’t remember me but my husband was the past president of Fimbank and I am a friend of Samira’s. We met you once at Samira’s apartment in Sliema.

    [Daphne – Of course I remember you, Cecile – very well, too. Samira told me you met some weeks ago.]

    I was recently in Malta and was able to spend time with Samira and her children. I was so happy to learn that you have a blog! I always loved reading your articles and now I can continue to enjoy your writing. Your courage in writing exactly what you think, experience and see is admirable, to say the least.

    Your relationship with Malta reminds me a bit of my relationship with my mother. You love Malta, as I loved my mother (and I loved Malta and still do), but, like my mother, sometimes the citizens of Malta prefer to close their eyes to the reality of certain situations. And, like my mother, they sometimes get angry when you when you “tell it like it is”.

  36. innocent says:

    din tal-avukat hmerija kbira. l-interrogazzjonijiet iridu jkunu rekordjati fuq film halli b’hekk inkunu certi li ma sarux inganni u inkriminazzjonijiet ta’ nies innocenti.

  37. TROY says:

    There’s a big-headed sergeant at the Qawra police station still living in the 1980s. Will tell you a couple of stories about him one day, my friend.

  38. TROY says:

    According to P.W. I can smoke at the Qawra police station ghax bulija!! Inspector shaken not stirred and the big-headed sergeant does not see eye to eye anymore, since that dog day afternoon.

    My next story involves the sergeant and the magistrate’s brother.

  39. jmb says:

    Hi Daphne, it is with interest that I read the blogs especially abt this in particular. I never knew you could opt not to sign the statement.

    It would be educational, should you be able to dig out more information on what we can or can not do in these situations it would be well welcomed. Most of us morons are bullied into situations with police sometimes.

    well done!

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