Daphne Caruana Galizia on the dismissal of David Gatt and his defence lawyer, Edward Gatt

MaltaToday had reported that “Gatt practiced law for nine years since his dismissal from the force, having won a constitutional case for unfair dismissal which ordered his reinstatement into the police force but was objected to by the Permanent Secretary to the Office of the Prime Minister. A court injunction on this case is still pending.”

Here is what Daphne Caruana Galizia had written about this in her blog “Well, so much for that“:

“If the combined forces of the Labour Party and Malta Today were capable to embarrassment, they would have been crippled by it over the last few days.

David Gatt, the disgraced policeman turned lawyer, was a Labour delegate until he was struck off the list a couple of days ago. And Malta Today has gone out of its way to publicise the man’s quest for ‘justice’ as he sought to have himself returned to the police force after a controversial and purely technical court ruling. With Saviour Balzan, any stick will do to beat the big, bad gONEziPn, even if it’s riddled with termites.

As for the Labour Party, what can I say? Malta Today’s critical faculties might be terribly damaged by its owners’ pressing need to grind their not-so-private axes, but with Labour, the issues at play are different.

We’re not speaking here of political hatred blinding them to the wisdom of not sticking up for people who might well be criminals, but of something else altogether.

Labour is the government in waiting, and yet it thought nothing of taking on as a delegate a disgraced police officer, a man who had been dismissed from the force because he had been overheard, in tapped telephone conversations, liaising with bank robbers.

The court ruled in his favour not because there were any doubts that it was he speaking to those criminals, but because the police did not demonstrate that they had a warrant to tap those telephones.

Is the Labour Party crazy or is it just completely amoral? That’s a question to which I haven’t yet found the answer in a good 30 years of wondering.

I can’t see why Labour is prepared to expose itself to risks of this nature. Surely the party’s big cheeses must have understood that if the police commissioner was prepared to stand his ground in his summary dismissal of one of his police inspectors, then the likelihood is that he had cast-iron reasons for doing so?

Or perhaps they did understand this and didn’t give a damn because he was their friend?

It appears that this David Gatt, when he was dismissed from the police force and joined the law course at the university (and even there, I have to react in exclamation marks at the fact that it is possible for a dismissed police inspector to obtain a warrant) carried out his practical experience – a necessary part of the course – with Labour’s deputy leader Anglu Farrugia.

When David Gatt sued for unfair dismissal and then for reinstatement in the police force, Edward Gatt, Anglu Farrugia’s legal partner, was his lawyer. Edward Gatt is still defending him now as he faces charges of complicity in major heists.

That apart, I can’t even begin to understand what made this David Gatt push that envelope so far – suing for unfair dismissal from the police with all that going on in his life, and then suing for reinstatement. Shouldn’t he have kept his head down? Or did somebody in the Labour Party leave him with the mistaken impression that he had the party’s backing and that he was somehow protected from justice?

No doubt, there will be those who trot out the usual chestnuts about the lawyer of your choice, and the rest of that self-serving tripe. The fact remains that Edward Gatt is a professional partner of one of Labour’s two deputy leaders and it just doesn’t do to have him defending somebody who has just been struck off the list of Labour delegates, a list he shouldn’t have been on in the first place.”

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