P2 - Inspector Raymond Cremona - His Biased Witness


Prosecution:   Meaning normal.

R. Cremona:   Yes normal.

Prosecution:   What type of food and drink was he given?

R. Cremona:   Regarding food and drink when in custody at the lock up it is up to the person responsible for the lock up who takes care but on the day he was arrested even I asked to have things brought for me and I offered him some of the food I was eating.

(True inspector Cremona did offer part of the hamburger he was eating. That was the only time that the defendant was offered any food).

Magistrate:   Cross-examination.

Defence:   How long was he in your custody, from the moment he was arrested to the time he was arraigned in court?

R. Cremona:   The search started at about 2.30pm of the Monday and he was rraigned in court on the Wednesday.

Defence:   Now during the interrogation did he tell you if he suffered from any kind of physical condition?

R. Cremona:   Yes, he told us he suffered from kidney stones and when he was in pain we took those precautions. In fact when he was in pain we stopped questioning him and on Tuesday because he was in pain we did not take a statement in the afternoon but we sent him for a rest, we brought him a doctor etc. He was sent for and was brought to me at 5.00pm, the first thing I asked him was how he felt and he replied “I am a lot better now”.

(Confirmation that the police knew that the defendant was unwell before he was asked to accompany them. The police had assured the defendant’s wife and daughter that he would be back later that day. When the defendant did not return in the promised time she tried to locate him to see if he needed any medication. He was located on the morning of the 16 November at Imsida police station on his way to be questioned again after having spent the night in pain and in hospital. Cremona already confirmed that at 1.00am of the 16 November the defendant was taken to hospital. The doctor on duty wanted to keep the defendant under observation after he was treated with a painkiller but Cremona refused).

Defence:   So meaning he was in pain? Was there moments when he was in your custody that he was in pain because of his condition?

R. Cremona:   While he was in police custody he complained about his pain.

Defence:   Good. When he was taken to hospital, if he was taken to hospital… you took him to hospital and where?

R. Cremona:   What I know is that he was taken but I was not with them. But I do know that the next day I enquired about him and I was told the he was taken to hospital, he was given some pills and was discharged.

(At the hospital the doctor informed the police that he had administered pethidine and buscopan injections. He was also given co-proxamol tablets to use).

Defence:   You are saying he was given some pills….

R. Cremona:   That’s what I was told.

Defence:   Yes, all right. Do you know what type of pills?

R. Cremona:   No I do not know. Allow me. I wish to say that when we went to do the search we found him painting and decorating and told us that he had been painting and decorating for over a week your honour.

Defence:   Am I right in saying that you said that when he was in pain you did interrogate him, but naturally he was under the influence of drugs all the time he was being interrogated?

R. Cremona:   I do not know if he was under the influence of drugs but when he took any pills we always gave him an hour rest.

Defence:   How long two hours?

R. Cremona:   For example when the doctor saw him at noon we did not send for him to be interrogated until 5.00pm. Meaning we always gave him time to rest.

(The doctor that attended to the defendant that afternoon had administered a painkilling injection in the presence of the police. After a period of questioning after 5.00pm the defendant was subjected to long hours of handwriting tests. That morning the defendant was also fingerprinted and photographed).

Defence: On the first or second day?

R. Cremona:   On the second day. We are talking about the second day.

Defence:   Look how many times did you interrogate him?

R. Cremona:   Twice.

Defence:   During all the period he was under arrest?

R. Cremona:   Yes.

Defence: For how long? How long was the first interrogation?

R. Cremona:   There is the time on the statement. Let me tell you then. The first one was from
6.30 – 9.15 in the evening. (Incorrect, the questioning went on until 10.30 p.m.).

Defence:   On which day?

R. Cremona:   Monday the 15th November. The second we have not got the exact time.

(Confirmation that they do not keep proper records and shows how incompetent and amateurish senior officers in the Malta Police Force are).

Defence:   Now, were you present during this interrogation?

R. Cremona:   Yes I was present.

Defence:   Did he complain that he was in pain?

R. Cremona:   No he did not complain in the first interrogation. He said that he suffered with kidney stones but he did not say that he was in pain.

Defence:   Now you stopped at 9.00pm. Why did you stop simply because you finished and took him to hospital?

R. Cremona:   No we stopped because in fact we had to do some checking on what he had told in fact Assistant Commissioner Michael Cassar and I gave an order to take him to Valletta Police station and be kept there. During the night about 1.00 or 1.30 in the morning I had a phone call at home and I was told that he was in great pain and I told them to take him to hospital straight away to see what he had. In fact that is what happened. The next morning I enquired what had happened and I was told that he was at Imsida because when he went to hospital he was given some pills and he was discharged.

Defence:   Look do you remember the first time he was taken from his home and you took him to the Depot to be interrogated, did he take any pills with him so that he could take the treatment while he was in your custody.

R. Cremona:   I do not remember that he did so.

Defence:   So he was taken to hospital and they gave him some pills.

R. Cremona:   Yes.

Defence:   When did you interrogate him again, in the morning?

R. Cremona:   In the morning we did not interrogate him.

(Not true, the defendant was questioned on the morning of the 16 November. He was picked up from Imsida police station at approximately 10.00am. and was questioned from 10.30 – 12.30. Thereafter he was fingerprinted and photographed).

Defence:   So that was Monday the next day, we are Tuesday. The second interrogation when did it take place?

R. Cremona:   The second interrogation started at about 5.15 and finished at 7.15

(The witness is all muddled up. Has no record of what really happened. He continually confirms that police breached their duty of care towards the defendant).

Defence:   Which day?

R. Cremona:   Tuesday evening.

Defence:   Meaning there was no contact with the defendant until that evening?

R. Cremona:   No, no. In the morning we brought him to my office at about 10.00 in the morning but I did not speak to him because I had to speak to some other people that were connected to the case.

(Cremona neglects to mention that on that day he had phoned the defendants wife and asked her to go to his office at the Depot to give a handwriting sample. She was eliminated from the investigation).

Defence:   How long did he spend with you without talking?

R. Cremona:   From about 10.00 am to 12.00pm. (During that period Cremona tried to convince the defendant to sign a statement that Cremona had concocted. The defendant refused to sign it because it wasn’t his statement. During that period the defendant was fingerprinted and photographed). 

Defence:   And where did you keep him?

R. Cremona:   In an office where we do our writing.

Defence:   Now the second interrogation at what time did you start?

R. Cremona:   At about 5.15. At about noon that day he had complained that he was in pain and in fact I told them to take him to hospital but I was told that he was taken to Valletta lock up and they brought him a doctor from Floriana Polyclinic.

(The doctor administered a painkilling injection to the defendant that afternoon. It was 3.30pm when the defendant was taken back for questioning. That afternoon after a short period with Cremona the defendant spent time until 6.30 that evening giving handwriting samples to Ivan Formosa the handwriting expert appointed by the court).

Defence:   Who was the doctor?

R. Cremona:   I do not know who the doctor was.

Defence:   When the doctor arrived, what was his certification?

R. Cremona:   I do not know what he had and did not have at 5.15 when I had him brought in front of me I asked him how he felt and he said he felt very well. Not only but I continued to ask him continually during the statement I kept asking him if he was well to continue.

(Constant confirmation that the police breached their duty of care toward the defendant).

Defence:   Meaning that when he complained about being in pain the first time It was you that sent him to hospital after you had received a phone call and you did not call a private doctor but took you took the decision straight away and sent him to hospital?

R. Cremona:   Yes.

Defence:   And the hospital gave him some pills?

R. Cremona:   Yes. But they did not give him any treatment I was not with them.

Defence:   Now the second time that he complained about his pain, you brought him a doctor did he send him to hospital?
R. Cremona:   No.

Defence:   Now correct me if I am wrong, during the interrogation he told you that he could not drink tap water because of his condition and asked for mineral water being the only water he could drink. See if you remember?

R. Cremona:   Yes.

Defence:   Now the tea you gave him was made from tap water or mineral water?

R. Cremona:   We make it with water normally. What I had he had. In fact we offered to buy him a bottle of mineral water be he said it did not matter. (Not true. The defendant had a supply of water bought for him about 3.00am that morning by WPC Rita Bartolo paid for by the defendant).

Defence:   Do you mean and are you saying that’s what he said?

R. Cremona:   Yes we offered.

Defence:   Look tell me if I am saying the right thing, he insisted with you that he cannot drink tap water? Insisted with you. Tell us you are under oath.   

R. Cremona:   Yes he told us that he could not drink tap water.

Defence:   And you gave him tap water?

R. Cremona:   No we did not give him tap water all we did we made some tea and we offered him a cup.

Defence:   Look Mr. Cremona the water that was in the kettle which type of water was it?

R. Cremona:   Tap water.

Defence: Look correct me if I am wrong, that Tuesday morning there were Moments when his wife came to the Depot and in fact when he came out of your office to speak to his wife so that she would give him some pills the man was dizzy, he was so dizzy that he could not walk properly and had to hold to the wall?


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