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Police investigation into MCAST ‘jobs for votes’ scandal nonetheless ongoing

ByEditorialTeam

Sep 1, 2022

The police have nonetheless not concluded felony investigations into alleged abuse at MCAST greater than two years after the Schooling Ministry, then led by Minister Evarist Bartolo, handed on the conclusions of an inquiry which recognized critical deficiencies on the school, presumably of a felony nature.

Requested by The Shift for an replace on the probe into the Malta Faculty of Arts, Science and Expertise (MCAST) and to state if any felony motion has been taken thus far, a spokesman for the police replied that though greater than two years have passed by since they began, “the investigations are nonetheless ongoing”.

The police didn’t give any additional particulars about what stage the investigations have reached or whether or not any arraignments are within the pipeline.

The Shift is knowledgeable that the inquiry – which was handed to the police by the Schooling Ministry on 18 April 2019, Maundy Thursday, utilizing a well-recognized technique to bury dangerous information as no newspapers are revealed on Good Friday – had discovered that for a few years, notably beneath the Labour authorities, tens of lecturers and different workers had been recruited on the school “on suggestions”, primarily from Labour politicians.

 

Press launch issued by then Schooling Minister Evarist Bartolo on Maundy Thursday 2019

The inquiry, led by monetary marketing consultant Paul Bonello, included exact particulars of what number of lecturing workers have been recruited by means of the ‘suggestions system’ and implied that in lots of situations, marks through the interviews have been modified or altered to make sure the ‘advisable’ lecturers bypassed the system and have been placed on the Faculty’s payroll.

The Shift can be knowledgeable that the police failed to start out their investigation for months after receiving the report, which occurred through the interval that the power was led by disgraced former  Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar. In reality, it was not till Cutajar was changed on the Police HQ by present Commissioner Angelo Gafa that directions got to start the investigation. 

The Inquiry on MCAST’s suggestions system

The inquiry into the alleged wrongdoing at MCAST was ordered in July 2018 after critical allegations of a felony nature have been made by a senior member of workers. The claims which additionally implicated abuse of a sexual nature by lecturers in a selected educating programme, included political interference in recruitment processes and within the administration of the school by means of the Ministry and its appointees, together with the Chairman of the Board of Governors. 

It was additionally implied that the ‘political suggestions system’ was additionally used within the recruitment course of of the present Principal, Prof James Calleja – a former everlasting secretary on the Schooling Ministry beneath a PN administration and one of many chosen few saved in place when Labour was returned to energy.

Whereas then Minister Evarist Bartolo spent weeks avoiding media questions on the topic, he later issued an announcement during which he introduced that he was referring the claims of a felony nature to the police whereas instituting an inquiry to look into the “administrative and operational facets” of the claims.

The Ministry stated that it could haven’t any downside in publishing the conclusions of the inquiry and performing on its suggestions, when accomplished.

Nevertheless, after the inquiry was introduced to him, Minister Bartolo did an about-turn and stated that he wouldn’t publish the inquiry in spite of everything, as a result of it had been handed to the police for additional investigations.

When pressed in parliament and by the media to publish the inquiry’s content material, Minister Bartolo and his successor Owen Bonnici, refused to take action, citing “authorized recommendation” because of the ongoing investigations.

Within the meantime, no motion has but been taken at MCAST to deal with the suggestions of the inquiry.

Featured photograph: Former Schooling Minister Evarist Bartolo with then Chairman of MCAST, Silvio De Bono, on the time the allegations have been made.

 

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