I watched Jon Mallia’s podcast with previous police commissioner John Rizzo with great interest but also in awe at Rizzo’s incredible change of character. Or maybe, it’s because I remember him differently given that I was a low-life punk and he was the dominant police chief who locked us in when we broke the law. His domineering walk through the law courts and his very gruff-looking big boy face, ready to rip you apart were hallmarks of the Nationalist past. But it’s not that. Rizzo was a tough guy who ended up muscling some of the worst criminals on the islands. He didn’t become the brute nemesis of criminals by conventional means either, but I don’t care about that either.
Throughout the podcast with Jon Mallia I couldn’t just help seeing Rizzo regretful of something deep which was much bigger than him, and though he could have helped avert it, it was also out of his control and this is probably Daphne’s murder. Maybe I am reminiscent of my own feelings, but as Rizzo spoke in detail about his past involvement in big investigations, and as he relished in describing the meticulous details of his methods, it wasn’t just nostalgia that was speaking, but his search for a sense of duty, and the same sense of duty which today, he may find lacking.
Rizzo was a goal-orientated officer for sure, and he did achieve results by putting a lot of gangsters in prison, but Rizzo failed to take political corruption seriously and it is this error that Rizzo may feel regretful about. There’s much more that Rizzo could say and speak about. Various Nationalist Ministers had got away with corruption for so long under his reign, including Ninu Żammit and John Dalli, not to mention many other cases which were not investigated such as the widespread corruption at the Dockyard. And surely, Rizzo could have contributed to building a much better country if he focused on political corruption rather than sending some of his worse inbred idiots chasing kids smoking weed down Valley Road. In reality, white-collar crime was not Rizzo’s specialization and that’s why PN probably liked him. Rizzo was an expert in defeating gangsters, but with regards to investigating white collar-crime, he was nowhere near as successful.
I am not saying this to bash Rizzo and his failures. I actually have respect for him that he started talking and he shows a demeanour which is open to honest dialogue. I too made my mistakes such as supporting Joseph Muscat in 2017 so I have no problem picking up the first stone or whatever. I’m guilty of the political mess of our country. So that’s cleared. Now, allow me to build an interest in John Rizzo to try and understand him better.