Corradino prison’s head of administration and operations Randolph Spiteri is to be replaced, multiple sources have confirmed.
Spiteri was former prison director Alex Dalli's right-hand man and a close confidant of his during a controversial period in prison history which saw 14 inmates die in three years.
Last week, he denied that he had been sent out on forced leave over questionable conduct with staff and inmates, insisting that he booked a vacation because he needed some time off to rest.
But on Tuesday evening he did not show up for the annual graduation ceremony for the new prison guard recruits and is absent from the official photo, which shows the new recruits with the prison’s top brass.
“The graduation ceremony is a momentous event for prison, and none of the top officials ever miss it,” one source said.
“Spiteri’s absence from that ceremony is very significant.”
Efforts to reach Spiteri yesterday were unsuccessful, but when he spoke to Times of Malta on Tuesday he reiterated that the allegations were unfounded. He insisted that he was still on leave and that he was scheduled to return to work “in the coming days” but would not say when.
Spiteri took the job as prison’s second-in-command when Dalli was appointed director in 2018.
Time for change
An inquiry launched to investigate the prison’s unorthodox methods of discipline culminated in Dalli’s dismissal from the post last December, when he was replaced by the current prison director, Robert Brincau.
After Dalli left, Spiteri stayed on in his role, despite internal complaints that he was “also part of the problem”.
When rumours of Spiteri’s dismissal first surfaced last week, a senior government source said it was “time for change”.
On Tuesday, 35 new recruits (29 men and six women) were officially appointed prison guards, in a graduation ceremony during which Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri told the new officers that their profession is not just a career, but a vocation.
He encouraged them to use their training to help inmates in different circumstances and urged them to be agile and sensible, adding that they are joining the facility at a time of great change that will ensure better checks and balances in the incarceration system.