A senior police inspector previously tasked with investigating major organised crime in the country has been reassigned to basic duties following a dispute with superiors on the ‘coordination’ of investigations.
Kevin Pulis, who until 2020 formed part of the police's anti-organised crime task force, has been assigned basic duties at different police stations instead.
His colleagues deemed the move as an effective demotion in terms of responsibilities.
The move to district-level police work came even though Pulis had previously been tasked with investigating major drug trafficking operations.
His work had also touched upon the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia and he was the officer to formally place Yorgen Fenech under arrest when the businessman was stopped trying to flee the island in 2019.
Fenech now stands accused of having ordered the 2017 assassination.
Sources said intelligence indicated Pulis may have himself been the target of a scrapped assassination plot.
Dispute over investigations
It is understood that recently he had a dispute with his superiors over the coordination of different investigations.
One, in particular, had led to the arrest of a man who now stands charged with having sent reams of hate mail to politicians and activists.
Joseph Mary Borg, 71, of Valletta, was in November charged with mailing anonymous threatening letters to a number of public figures.
Sources said Pulis had not followed direct orders on the investigation, which ended in court action. This was deemed insubordination. He is currently doing basic duties at the Valletta police station.
Contacted recently, Pulis declined to comment. He said he was precluded from speaking with the media and directed Times of Malta to contact the police public relations office.
Replying to questions sent, a police spokesperson did not explain the reasons behind Pulis’s transfer.
Instead, the spokesperson simply clarified that the police inspector had not formed part of a task force to investigate the killing of Caruana Galizia.
'Established internal procedures'
“He was recently moved to the Valletta district from Qormi in line with established internal procedures of the Malta Police Force,” the spokesperson said.
The police later insisted the work being done by Pulis in police stations was not a demotion. They said that the role of a district inspector is an investigative one and it was incorrect to suggest otherwise.
He was assigned to the district police work in 2020, shortly after Angelo Gafà was appointed police commissioner.
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