The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as the adage goes, and this seems to hold particularly true when it comes to police constable 22-year-old Rica Mifsud Grech from Floriana, who is being charged, along with two other officers, with abducting and grievously injuring foreign nationals.
Rica Mifsud Grech is the daughter of Ramon Mifsud Grech, a police officer who has been charged several times with violence against foreign nationals but always managed to hold on to his position, having been acquitted after mistakes on charge sheets.
Ramon Mifsud Grech, a police sergeant, had been reprimanded by the Corps in 2017 after ‘celebrating’ Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination in a Facebook post on the day of her murder. He was later reprimanded and put on half-pay but was not dismissed from the force.
The Malta Police Association, the Police Officers’ Union and the Office of the Prime Minister, amongst others far and wide, condemned the comments.
Back in 2014, Caruana Galizia reported how Ramon Mifsud Grech had been photographed at a strip club in police uniform on Boxing Day morning by a client, a French student. She reported how a disturbance ensued during which the client was assaulted by the police, thrown into the back of a police van, had his mobile phone taken from him and returned without the memory card that contained the incriminating photograph.
She had also reported how he had been reprimanded twice for being drunk while on duty. His lifestyle, she claimed, was above his means as a police sergeant, reportage that apparently irritated him to such an extent that he had taken to Facebook to, most heinously, celebrate her assassination the day it happened.
That was back in 2014, and this is now. His daughter, Rica, was charged on Sunday together with 24-year-old Jurgen Falzon from Sta Venera for crimes against human dignity. A third constable will be charged in due course once discharged from Mater Dei Hospital, where he was admitted for chest pains.
The three constables were turned in by fellow police officers who filed an internal complaint after they were shocked by their colleagues’ lack of professional standards.
All three constables were stationed at the Hamrun police station and worked the same shift. They stand accused of abducting foreigners and taking them to Qormi where they were assaulted and left there. The complaints referred to incidents that happened in September.
It is believed there were many more similar incidents and that the foreigners abducted to Qormi were subjected to other forms of demeaning humiliation.
Magistrate Joe Mifsud denied bail requests, and both officers were remanded in custody.
A third police constable was arraigned on Monday and was denied bail. Luca Brincat, a 20-year-old constable from Qormi who is currently on suspension from the force, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The Shift is informed that Brincat had failed his initial police exam, but had been “mysteriously” accepted into the force by someone through the intervention of “someone close” Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri.
On Sunday, Commissioner of Police Angelo Gafa explained how he had been informed of the allegations on Friday, and the constables were placed immediately under arrest.
He insisted that the police take such matters seriously and immediate action was taken as soon as the report had been lodged.