A 45-year-old Briton, who was being held in custody, committed suicide at Mount Carmel Hospital.

Despite the efforts made by a medical team and an ambulance staff, the man died at Mater Dei Hospital, the Home Affairs Minister said in a statement.

The man had been arraigned in connection with drug charges and needed treatment, sources said. He was being kept under preventive arrest.

The police are investigating the incident and the Home Affairs Ministry ordered an internal inquiry. Magistrate Gabriella Vella will be heading the magisterial inquiry.

In a statement, the Opposition said Home Affairs Minister Carm Abela should assume responsibility for the third fatality in custody in the last three months.

"In no other democratic country would a minister responsible for the police retain his place when faced with such tragedies. In no other democratic country would a minister keep hiding behind a magisterial inquiry which always take ages to be concluded and are not necessarily published," PN deputy leader Beppe Fenech Adami said in a strongly-worded statement.

For the sake of accountability and credibility, the minister should quit the post, since he is "incompetent" and has lost control of the situation, the PN charged.



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