Current Affairs
Archbishop ends up becoming ‘crew member’ of MV Lifeline

Magistrate Joe Mifsud has rebuked the captain of MV Lifeline, Claus Peter Reisch, who is currently in Court, for not following established procedures about the list of crew members on board his ship.

This followed a visit made by the Archbishop and a group of journalists to the ship, who were then listed as crew members. Because of legal procedures involving the MV Lifeline and Captain Reisch, only a limited number of people have been given permission by the Court to be on board the ship until the legal proceedings are concluded.

The Court noted that its authority must always be requested for circumstances to change and for items to be taken on board or removed from the ship, or if the ship is moved from where it is berthed. Magistrate Mifsud said that on the list for 5 January when the Archbishop and members of the press were on board, they were listed as crew members.  He added that this was done without the Archbishop himself being informed. Magistrate Mifsud added that Archbishop Scicluna ended up being thrust into the middle of this issue when Manuel Delia in one of his blogs implied that the Archbishop’s presence on the ship was an act of defiance of the restrictions imposed by the Court on who could board the vessel.

The Court said that this was not true and that with his visit the Archbishop was not defying any Court order and was not even informed that his name had been listed as a crew member.  Magistrate Mifsud urged the Principal Immigration Officer and Transport Malta to ensure that no one is allowed to present a crew list which is not correct and to not allow these things to just slide without showing any interest in verifying what was happening.

In the same sitting held today, Magistrate Mifusd upheld the request by Captain Claus Peter Reisch for his case which was meant to continue today, to be deferred to 21 March, because his mother in Germany was in poor health. He appealed to Reisch that in the March sitting he needs to present his evidence so that the final submissions may be made and the sentence can be handed down.