WELL DONE, NORMAN VELLA. The way to deal with bullying scum is to defy them, because they don’t know how to handle that.

Published: October 30, 2013 at 7:56pm
Victim of a liberal and progressive government voted in by a bunch of dangerously irresponsible adults of a certain age from my socio-economic group, who in another life and generation would have probably joined the Moonies.

Victim of a liberal and progressive government voted in by a bunch of dangerously irresponsible adults of a certain age from my socio-economic group, who in another life and generation would have probably joined the Moonies.

Magistrate Marsanne Farrugia has ordered the Police Commissioner to return Norman Vella’s phone and iPad at once, saying that there is nothing at all to indicate that he committed any sort of crime.

The bullying scum have been well and truly told where to get off.

And let this be a lesson to the lot of us. Know your rights, know your civil liberties, know what the fundamental principles of democratic thinking and behaviour are, and never give in to authority just because it is authority. That’s the thinking which feeds and enables totalitarianism.

Members of authorities need a legal basis in the law to act, and even that is not enough. If a law is in itself illegal, if it violates fundamental principles of human rights and liberties, then you are not obliged to obey it. On the contrary, it is your duty not to do so. That is why we have access to a Constitutional Court and to the European Court of Human Rights.

What happened in the 1970s and 1980s was possible because people gave in. They complied, they lowered their heads below the parapet, and they worked with corrupt and abusive scum to ensure their own survival rather than defying them, for the sake of a quiet life. That was the thin end of the wedge and by the time we reached the thick end of the wedge years later, nobody had a quiet life. It was hell even for those who were too brainwashed, stupid, isolated and uneducated to know that there was a different way of living, that it didn’t have to be like that.

Norman Vella would have, if he were the typical cowed-by-authority-let’s-give-in-and-live-a-quiet-life Maltese person, let his personal property go, put his head down, tried to cooperate and survive. He is, after all, living on an island where people actually BELIEVE the police have a right to take whatever they want when they want it. But he was outraged, and that paid off. It didn’t pay off for him, but for all of us. The police will now think twice before trying to seize the phones of ‘enemies of the state’ to look at their personal data. It is unbelievable to think that people in Malta actually bought the explanation that the police have a right to do this. Is our comprehension of democracy and civil liberties so very, very weak?

It is RISIBLE to suggest that the police can take anyone’s mobile phone and laptop and keep them, going through all their personal and private data, just because somebody said they took a photograph. OF COURSE THEY CAN’T. That’s what they do in China, in North Korea. The police can take a person’s mobile phone and laptop if he is being investigated, and then only for a serious and proper crime like drug-trafficking, human trafficking, or murder.

This is just the beginning. And by the time the five years are up, there are going to be a hell of a lot of people who will owe an apology to the rest of us for having brought this on Malta with their stupid, stupid vote. Teenagers and people in their 20s are understandably gulled by the sort of talk, ideas, lies and false dreams that recruits them into sect led by egomaniacs and sociopaths. People my age – and worse, people a generation older than me – really have no excuse for their dangerously irresponsible behaviour in the last election and the months leading up to it.


36 Comments Comment

  1. Mark Busuttil says:

    Peter Paul is clearly not police commissioner material

  2. Frank Psaila says:

    Peter Paul Zammit’s position, as Police Commissioner, has become untenable – he should go, now. Of course, he won’t, and, unfortunately, peoples’ trust in the Police Force will continue to diminish.

    It was prone to happen – he was appointed from outside the Corps, and, only a few days before his appointment, he was signing sworn declarations by Labour Party general election candidates about the expenses of their individual electoral campaign. His was a political appointment.

    The Police Force has been embroiled in too many controversies since his appointment – the Darrel Luke Borg case – who was arrested for a crime he did not commit; the appointment of well known Labour Party supporters to the Police Board; the serious accusations levelled at him, personally, that he is constantly in the shadows of Minister Manuel Mallia, and his chief of staff, Silvio Scerri, and now Norman Vella’s shameful arrest for a ‘crime’ (there was no crime in the first place) he did not commit.

    Peter Paul Zammit should go, now.


    • Alf says:

      I wholeheartedly support this request. Peter Paul Zammit has to go and he should be closely followed by the Minister responsible for the Police.

      The Police now are in duty bound to investigate the person/s who “confidentially” gave them the information which in my opinion is nothing less than a frame-up.

      Also, the Police should investigate the conflicting information as to who made the report. Whilst Dr Aquilina in his testimony in Court said that the Inspector told him that the report was lodged by Kurt Farrugia and Ramona Attard, Kurt Farrugia – on his behalf and obo Ramona Attard – again denied filing the report about Norman Vella. I know who to believe.

      Prosit Norman and prosit to the lawyers Therese Comodini Cachia and Karol Aquilina.

  3. Neil says:

    Hear, bloody hear! I was so pleased to read about the magistrate basically dumping this farce. Expect no resignations.

  4. Frank Psaila says:

    Of course, his position has ALWAYS been untenable – his very appointment was untenable. He is the worst thing that happened to the Police Force since Lawrence Pullicino.

    • Alf says:

      And so say all of us. May I add that another position is also untenable which, according to me, is the worst position that was inflicted on the Police Force / AFM since Lorry Sant

  5. TROY says:

    In a democratic country the commissioner of police would resign.

  6. Josette says:

    The issue is that however much people know what their rights are, in a situation where you are being interrogated, cut off from the rest of the world and with the knowledge of what was allowed to go on by the same party in the past, you really cannot blame anyone for complying just to get away and, at a second stage, using the Court to assert his rights.

    It’s not cowardice or ignorance. It’s surviving to fight later. It’s also what Norman Vella did.

  7. Solidarnosc says:

    Norman had the courage of his convictions, as well as the determination to take on the state police and stood by his principles, unlike his old boss Peppi Azzopardi who chose to toe the line for selfish reasons.

    Well done Norman, and thank you Daphne for the solidarity you have shown him continuously through your posts.

    Shame on the other journalists who chose to let Norman fight the battle on his own.

  8. bob-a-job says:

    And now for plan ‘B’ with the compliments of Eddy Privitera.

    “I could say that the person who made the report to the police about Norman Vella must be a PN apologist who planned the story so that when the police interrogate Norman Vella the PN and Norman Vella can turn it into what you call ‘a witch hunt’ !”

    Oh Eddy, why don’t you just ebb off.

  9. Victor says:

    Brilliant! On both counts, that is the news and your article.

  10. anthony says:

    Does Norman Vella really intend spending the rest of his life looking at people’s passports, dwarfs, pogguti, kornuti and all ?

    What a waste.

    Vera m’hux daqshekk difficli ghaliex nies tan-nejk.

    Izda waqqajthom ghan-nejk. Kollha kemm huma.


    • Neil says:

      I hope he’s on the desk when the slimy lot come back through later this week. No vindictiveness intended in that, I just think he deserves the satisfaction of staring them straight in the eye, as the shameless bastards have to present him with their passports to get back in.

      Mind you, he’ll have to get down on his knees to stare into Corto Farrugia’s piggy little peepers.

    • ciccio says:

      You forgot looking at the Maltese passports of crooks from Azerbaijan and China.

  11. mm says:

    Jekk il-kummissarju ha passi kontra l-ispettur li waqqaf li persuna innocenti tigi processata, issa se jiehu passi kontra l-magistrat li waqqfet milli persuna innocenti tigi ippersegwitata?

  12. ciccio says:

    You know what I think, Daphne?

    Had the Commissioner of Police won this case, he could easily use the same authority against you, claiming that your computer may contain a (non-existent) unauthorised photo of a Coconut functionnaire with the Communications Coordinator of the Minister of National Security through the Airport passport control, which Norman Vella allegedly sent to you, and confiscating your computer for accurate forensic investigation in order that you can be cleared of any suspicion.

    Dio Dirige Nos. God lead us, away from this scum.

    • La Redoute says:

      Excuse me? If you see someone using a mobile phone, how do you know what they’re doing?

      • ciccio says:

        The case involving Norman Vella was not one of what Vella was doing with his mobile, but what the Commissioner decided to suspect that Vella was doing. In fact, the court’s decision was that there was not even a reasonable suspicion of a crime.

  13. Gahan says:

    I was elated when I read Magistrate Marseanne Farrugia’s judgement.

    I just want to ask one question: Why was Vincent Farrugia’s mobile phone confiscated when he was attacked by Sandro Chetcuti?

    [Daphne – Because he was accused of tampering with evidence/seeking to influence witnesses. There was an on-going case, so it was procedurally correct.]

    Another question: If Norman Vella was supposedly seen on CCTV meddling with his mobile phone, how is it they confiscated his iPad too? Wasn’t this a trumped-up charge so that our Malta version of the Stasi can retrieve all the valuable information which is in the hands of this ‘enemy of the people’?

    • Spock says:

      I wonder if this whole shenanigan was a set up to justify confiscating Norman’s mobile and iPad to find out any valuable information to do with his civil court case against Joseph Muscat.

  14. just me says:

    Daphne, your arrest on the eve of the election should have been an eye-opener to those who intended to switch. It clearly showed that the Labour Party had NOT changed. It was obvious that there would be more of the same if they returned to power.

    And this is only the beginning. By now the switchers must be kicking themselves for their utter stupidity.

    [Daphne – It all depends. In general, I find that stupid people are not aware of the extent of their stupidity. Insight and self-awareness are predicated on a certain level of intelligence.]

    • anthony says:

      Hekk hu.

      The only wisdom is in knowing you know nothing – Socrates.

    • Victor says:

      How right you are, Daphne. I have just been seeing some posts and comments on Facebook. The pea-brains are saying that of course Norman Vella won this case, the law courts are still being run by Nationalists.

      Some even went to the extent to say that there is need for a big sweep there too, to get rid of all the ‘traitors’.

      The extent of ignorance has left me gobsmacked. Poor, poor Malta, no wonder we have found ourselves in this deplorable state.

      • Tabatha White says:

        It is entirely significant that awareness and justice in the Court of Law have moved firmly and correctly against this abusive, illegal manoeuvering.

        It is one registered mark of intolerance, of the regime of lies and unethical behaviour by this Labour Government, that is high on the visibility and precedent scale.

        It is mind-numbing. Not the fact that a fair and correct ruling was given: this is a true beacon for all other cases out there; but that the Police felt it was completely in order to proceed in this way.

        Mind-numbing that we are living in a State where the Police have been called to order.

        Mind-numbing that this confirms that situations that still need to come to a head may have a great deal more suppression of truth entailed in their decision-taking.

        Mind-numbing, yet again, that this is our reality.

        The official precedent that this sets within this administration is enormous.

        A big thank you to Norman’s no-nonsense lawyers and to the Magistrate for underlining and reconfirming the concepts that should be operative in a democracy. We have had too little of that lately, and for far too long already. There are those who will think it is since March 9th, others who will realise that it was with the political shenanigans dating back to 2008, and others who know it all began before then.


        As Crawford so aptly described it, there is indeed a “parallel universe” inhabiting our same space, being fed doublespeak and not understanding what they’re being fed. Playing along with it either, out of fatal ignorance or potential gain.

        How much “doublespeak” will we have to cut through with this administration?

        What is the next twisted perception that will be cast over events, and immediately: over Norman’s arrest and the Court ruling? and over what action should happen next in the suite of things?


        “Doublespeak destroys relationships by corrupting thought, destroying communication, and eroding trust.”


        The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink. -George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language”

  15. H.P. Baxxter says:

    Yes, well done and all, but let’s not let this temporary respite dull our judgement.

    1. No police officer should have taken any action against anyone on non-existent charges, or stolen (yes, stolen) any item belonging to anyone. The Police broke the Law they are meant to uphold.

    2. No Police Commissioner should ever have got involved, except to order the instant dismissal from the force of any police officer who carried out illegal orders. Not only is the Police Commissioner ignorant of the law he is meant to uphold, he also broke several rules and allowed the guilty party (the police officers) to get off free.

    3. What took the Court so long to make up its mind? If no law is broken, then there are no grounds for prosecution or Police action. It takes all of three seconds to write that sentence and reach a decision. It took the Court three days.

    4. The Prime Minister stood by and smirked connivingly throughout the whole incident. Where are Femen when you need them?

    5. The Chamber of Advocates’ statement is a masterpiece of mealy-mouthedness. Surely Reuben Balzan can do better than that. It’s a case of first they let off John Dalli and I said nothing, then they came for Norman Vella and I just whispered, then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out.

    6. Where are Peppi Azzopardi, Franco Debono, the whole editorial board of Living Law, Kenneth Zammit Tabona, Lino Spiteri, Ranier Fsadni and the rest of the sanctimonious crowd?

    7. The mantra from the more literate Labour voters used to be that we should give Joseph Muscat a try because now we’re in the European Union and surely nothing bad like institutionalised violation of the Legal Code, or illegal arrest could happen to us, could it? Well, it just did. EU membership won’t protect us from anything.

    8. The mantra from the very annoying and very stupid anti-European “non-partisans” like Norman Lowell, Albert Leone Ganado, Kevin Ellul Bonici and his ghastly wife used to be that the EU controls every aspect of our lives down to the slightest detail, and that national governments now have to follow everything the EU says. Our government has just shown us that they don’t. EU membership, in domestic affairs, means bugger all.

    • Verita' says:

      Well, H.P. Baxxter, I’ll tell you where Kenneth Zammit Tabona is. He’s licking his wounds now that MEPA have approved the development of a 3,880 square metre site that includes a car park for 424 cars, a supermarket, shops, a cafe, a fitness centre, offices and apartments, all a stone’s throw from his & mummy’s bedroom windows.

      Apparently 70,000 cubic meters of material will be excavated (think mechanical jiggers and JCBs here) which will ensure that he too will spend the next few years living in hell. Oh joy, the sheer poetic justice of it all.


  16. Joan says:

    Spot on.

    I never thought we’ll be re living the 80s in 2013.

    What I’ve learned this year is that the majority of the Maltese don’t give a damn about democracy just as long they can get a discount or something for free.

    In the 70s and 80s people were only concerned about the social welfare and never thought that what they’re missing is far greater than children’s allowance. When after all we’ve been through during those Golden Years, the PN only won the 1987 election by 4000 votes. That’s food for thought.

    And now we just witnessed another episode from those Golden Years. But people like the switchers don’t care do they? They voted Labour out of spite and to get cheaper electricity bills.

    I wouldn’t trade democracy and freedom of speech for anything in the world.

    • ciccio says:

      The switchers will only be bothered if the government introduces an “abuse of power tax,” in which every time there is a sentence like the one meted out today, a tax is levied on the electorate.

      Under Labour, the bill of such tax would far outweigh a 25% savings on the electricity bills.

  17. EVC says:

    Jien nahseb li dawk in-nies kollha li vvutaw Labour ghandhom kemm ghandhom eta’ u jaraw biss Super One zgur li mhux se jindunaw xi hmieg ta’ partit ghandna fil-gvern ghax jibilghu biss il-gideb li jisimghu u jaraw.

    Tghid mhux se jiccekkjaw il-verita fuq in-Net jew fuq xi gazzetta indipendenti? Mhux se nsemmi it-TVM ghax dan sar Super One iehor.

  18. George says:

    The news is welcomed with joy! Congratulations, Norman. The pity is that we’re still stuck with a Stasi styled and politically motivated Police Commissioner and a bunch of self-inflated and dangerous scum governing our country.

  19. Mr Meritocracy says:

    Will Norman Vella be proceeding against the Police Commissioner for illegal arrest now? That’s surely got to be the next step.

  20. anthony says:

    HPB, I envy your superb analytical mind and I applaud it.

    They are all lying on the back of the tiger hoping that they will be the last inside (plagiarized by hundreds of people before me).

  21. truth says:

    “And let this be a lesson to the lot of us. Know your rights, know your civil liberties, know what the fundamental principles of democratic thinking and behaviour are, and never give in to authority just because it is authority. That’s the thinking which feeds and enables totalitarianism.”

    I believe they need to be introduced as a course in schools and as a core unit to all students prior to entering university, together with ethics.

    • Allo Allo says:

      Ethics? Now we know why the prime minister described the ministers’ code of ethics as a ‘briksa’.

      • Tabatha White says:

        Ethics and brains. The Labour prime hate targets. The reason why Carm Mifsud Bonnici and Richard Cachia Caruana were done away with.

        Ethics and brains are anathema to Labour’s raison d’être.

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