Check out Nicholas Azzopardi’s death bed statement on YouTube on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDIy0ayI2N0
The police have issued a statement saying that Police Commissioner John Rizzo has asked the Attorney General to re-open the magisterial inquiry into the death of Nicholas Azzopardi who had died after sustaining serious injuries when allegedly 'jumping off' the bastions beneath the Floriana headquarters in 2008.
The statement said that the Commissioner's request was made following media reports about the case which have emerged in the past week.
Last week, Adrian Lia, a former police sergeant who was crucial in determining the outcome of the Nicholas Azzopardi inquiry was arrested and charged in court for allegedly stealing €30,000 in cash which was confiscated during raids in connection with clandestine lotto. The former police had also deceived the police force and the government into believing he had saved a woman from drowning 14 years ago.
Last week, MaltaToday asked the Home Affairs Ministry whether Lia's evidence was reliable and whether the inquiry will be re-opened, however the ministry said that “despite the fact that the documentation in relation to both inquires has been open to scrutiny by journalists, their findings were never put in doubt.”
Adrian Lia had claimed that he had been injured in a scuffle with Azzopardi before he allegedly jumped off a wall. There was no proof in police records of any injuries to the police sergeant. A subsequent inquiry based many of its conclusions on the testimony of Adrian Lia.
Azzopardi died 13 days after he was arrested and was allegedly beaten up by police officers at the Floriana police headquarters on 8 April. Hours before he died on 22 April, he told his family and inquiring magistrate he had been heavily beaten up by his interrogators while under arrest. His family believe Azzopardi was attacked by an officer who flung a side kick, breaking his ribs and puncturing his lung.
His death was the subject of a magisterial inquiry by Antonio Vella, and of a parallel inquiry by retired judge Albert Manchè launched by the government following the publication of the revelations made by Azzopardi in MaltaToday. The inquiry concluded that there was no wrong doing on the part of the police.