A former police sergeant has been fined €10,000 for leaking police information involving Adrian Delia to Daphne Caruana Galizia. 

A court was told that an investigation was launched by the police after a blog by the late journalist under the headline 'Nationalist Party leadership contender Adrian Delia replies to questions about anonymous report to the police' included a photo of a police report. The blog was uploaded on August 16, 2017.

As part of their investigations, the police established who had sought information from PIRS, the National Police System.

It was found that then-sergeant Roderick Sammut, stationed at Qormi, had accessed the system four times between June 14 and August 13, 2017, and searched for particulars about Dr Delia.

Two screenshots of a police report were discovered among the 'sent' items on the former sergeant's WhatsApp folder, after his mobile phone was examined.

One of those pictures was identical to the one posted by Caruana Galizia although it was not determined whether any calls or messages had ever been exchanged between the accused and Ms Caruana Galizia, the court was told.

Service providers asked to report on this had returned a negative reply.

An officer from the police IT Department had however confirmed that the computer used to access the report had been located at the Qormi police station.

Moreover, IT expert Martin Bajada had confirmed that the two screenshots had been on the accused’s mobile, had been “definitely sent” and were “definitely the same” as those on Caruana Galizia's Running Commentary. 

Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech, concluded that there was no doubt that it was the accused, and him alone, who had used his mobile phone to take a screenshot of the report and subsequently sent the same image to a third party.

The court said it was “immaterial” that the prosecution had not proved that it was the accused who had actually sent the image to the journalist, pointing out further that there was “not the slightest proof” that the accused had needed to access the report in relation to his duties.

Nor was it proved that his phone had been used by someone else or that the accused had leaked his exclusive username and password to someone else.

Even the times when the accused allegedly accessed the report tallied with expert conclusions, further leading the court to declare him guilty of the unlawful use of the computer data, software or supporting documentation and the disclosure of officially secret material.

“The accused passed on information to third parties and hence revealed that which ought to have been protected,” thus betraying not merely the trust of the Corps but also of citizens at large.

Although his wrongdoing was liable to a maximum fine of €23,293 or a 4-year jail term or both, in view of the accused’s clean criminal record and “impeccable service” to the Corps, the court fined Mr Sammut €10,000, pointing out that unfortunately, he had shown “no remorse” for this sole transgression.

The court also ordered him to pay €1,091 in court expert expenses and ordered the confiscation of his mobile phone.

Inspector Justin Camilleri prosecuted.

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