Current Affairs
They maintain that Vella was banned from his work in prison because he was drunk when he returned from prison leave

According to the Corradino Correctional Facility management, prisoner Brian Vella was banned from working in prison because he entered in a drunken state after he was given prison leave to attend a family wedding.

This resulted in a petition presented before Magistrate Charmaine Galea by the Correctional Services Agency’s lawyer following a case filed by prisoner Vella who alleged the presence of a campaign of terror, fear and torture in prison.

The prisoner is reported saying that this campaign is against him as he has knowledge of a crime committed in prison some three years ago, which remained secret.

The Agency’s chief executive, Colonel Alex Dalli, denied that prisoner Brian Vella was stopped doing his work and is not permitted to communicate with relatives because he has information on a crime committed in prison in 2018.

Vella is serving life sentence in prison after he was found guilty in a trial on the double murder of elderly couple Geraldu and Ġuża Grima in February 2000 at their home in Sta Luċija.

Recent reports said that Vella requested the Court to hold a magisterial inquiry on what he described as a campaign of fear, terror and torture by prison guards, which he and other prisoners are experiencing at the Corradino facility.

Media reports said that the 41-year old prisoner is also alleging that he is ready to testify on oath that the torture chair exists and was used on many occasions.

In the petition presented this morning, Colonel Dalli denied Vella’s allegation about the terror campaign in prison, adding that Vella was stopped doing carpenting work, on which he earned €300 a month, because after he was given prison leave to attend a family wedding, he returned drunk at the facility, started fighting and assaulted an officer with the consequence that he lost the privilege to work.

The Colonel stated that the torture chair is not intended to cause torture, however it is a tool which is used in an extreme case when an inmate acts dangerously to himself and is contained on the advice of medical professionals.

It was also pointed out in the petition that the Facility is subject to scrutiny of local and international organisations, including the European Committee on the Prevention of Torture, which noted the advances made in the Facility’s management.

Speaking to journalists on these allegations, Interior Minister Byron Camilleri stated that he will not comment on the case and awaits the testimony of prison officers. However, he said that Vella is being held in a cell with a security camera surveillance.