The government would do better to focus its energy on addressing corruption rather than attacking those exposing wrongdoing, the chairman of the largest political group in the European Parliament said in a strongly worded statement.
Manfred Weber, chairman of the European People’s Party – the political group to which the Nationalist Party is affiliated – criticised the government’s attacks after the PN’s head of delegation David Casa has been the target of a number of threats of legal action against him due to his being in possession of a leaked report by Malta’s Anti-Money Laundering Agency that calls for police action into Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi.
“It would be advisable for the Maltese authorities to focus their energy on addressing the corruption problem in all areas, also in the institutions, rather than attacking those that expose wrongdoing,” Weber said.
Casa was in court on Monday where he presented the evidence in his possession under oath to Magistrate Aaron Bugeja.
Mizzi stuck to his hymn sheet, denied the allegations and claimed that he too had faith in the judiciary.
The European Parliament’s ad-hoc delegation sent to investigate the rule of law in Malta stated in their report that Mizzi and the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Keith Schembri should be removed from public office, investigated and swiftly brought to justice.
Mr Weber said that the culture of impunity in Malta that has culminated with the assassination of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia is of concern to the EU as a whole.
He expressed shock that members of the Maltese government exposed in the Panama Papers continue to hold high public office and that the Maltese government has completely ignored the European Parliament’s Resolution on the rule of law in Malta as well as the conclusions of the ad-hoc delegation to Malta published on the 11 January.
The EPP Group chief reiterated that the whole group stands with Casa and the Maltese people fighting corruption and abuse of power.