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This is part five of a broader investigation. Click to read: part one | explainer piece | part two | part three | part four

Police inspector and lawyer Frankie Sammut, who was exposed by this website for his involvement in a golden passport retailing company partially owned by disgraced former economy minister Chris Cardona, has seemingly abandoned his court case against police commissioner Angelo Gafa’ over the latter’s decision to impose restrictions on what type of work police officers are allowed to carry out outside of their official duties.

On Monday, Sammut, together with the other two police officers who filed the case jointly with him – Malta’s delegate for the European Public Prosecutor’s Office and police superintendent Geoffrey Farrugia and data protection officer Clayton Silvio – failed to turn up in court.

None of the lawyers representing Sammut, Farrugia, or Silvio showed up, either, leaving the court with little choice but to defer the sitting one last time to 20 March of this year and announcing ahead that the court will take “opportune provisions” should the officers who filed the case fail to show any further interest in pursuing it.

Following the publication of this website’s investigation about Sammut’s moonlighting as the head of legal for IWS Ltd, the passport selling company that is partially owned by Cardona, advocacy NGO aditus foundation and the Chamber of Advocates had both raised questions about the glaring conflict of interest in Sammut’s dual role. In fact, aditus had voiced support for Gafa’s decision to effectively ban police officers from carrying out work as lawyers.

Assistant director of aditus foundation Carla Camilleri had told this website that “it is clear that Inspector Sammut’s private legal practice selling citizenship and handling immigration issues is in direct conflict with his role as an immigration inspector”.

Citing the Code of Ethics which regulates lawyers, Camilleri further argued that Sammut’s conflict of interest clearly violates the code since advocates are ethically obliged to decline any appointments which may either lead to a conflict of interest or give the impression that they are able to make use of any connections they may have for the advantage of their clients.

The Chamber of Advocates had also agreed that Sammut’s dual role was a conflict of interest and that it is “not acceptable” for Sammut to work as both an immigration inspector and a lawyer for a company that profits from the luxury immigration market.

It is not known why Sammut and his fellow irked colleagues were not present at the court case as Sammut has not responded to requests for comment to date. In spite of repeated reminders and assurances that an answer will be given, the police’s official spokesperson Brandon Pisani has not divulged any further details about the case.

The last update this website received from the police force implied that the spokesperson was waiting for final approval – presumably, from the police commissioner himself given that the court case concerns him directly – to issue the statement. Since an answer was never provided in spite of repeated calls and emails, it is therefore being assumed that this approval was not granted.

Cardona’s company, which shut down its website following the publication of this website’s investigation, remains under the radar for the time being as the website itself has not yet been republished. The company’s Instagram profile has also been inactive since then. Its company status on the Malta Business Registry remains listed as active and there are no documents available which suggest that there were any recent changes within the company’s structure.

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