A pilot project for electronic tagging for convicts to be introduced next year had been awarded to Prosecure Ltd, which is partially owned by parliamentary secretary Andy Ellul's brother, by direct order.

The agreement dates to 2019, Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri said.

Replying to a parliamentary question by Nationalist MP Mark Anthony Sammut, the minister said another call for tender to provide the service was issued in November 2022. 

According to the Malta Business Registry, John Charles Ellul, Ellul’s brother, is one of Prosecure's three directors. He is also a company shareholder. 

John Charles Ellul, who was the director of studies at the Academy for Disciplined Forces, made headlines last year when he suggested, on his Facebook page, that PN MPs should be pelted with eggs and tomatoes. 

He later apologised and was ordered by the Home Affairs Ministry to delete his post. 

First presented to Parliament two years ago, the so-called 'Electric Monitoring Bill' was moved again for first reading in October 2022.

Electronic tagging will be provided for people sentenced to a prison term of not more than one year as well as in cases where a restraining order is imposed, or when a court issues a temporary protection order in domestic violence cases. 

According to the bill, electronic tags can also be used on prisoners who are granted prison leave, and those allowed out on parole. 

The bill does not apply to those who are out on police bail for serious crimes, despite calls from legal professionals including Madam Justice Consuelo Scerri Herrera. 

The issue returned to the spotlight recently in August when Jomic Calleja Maatouk fled Malta with his wife while he was out on bail after appealing his conviction for importing explosives. The couple remain on the run. 

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