The meaning of Pilatus 

The magnificent mountain which goes by the name of Pilatus in Switzerland is steeped with lore and legend – “maker of weather, dragon’s lair, home to giants and grave of rulers”. One legend states that Pontius Pilate was buried in a lake close by where he was banished as a punishment “for his crime against Christ”.

In Malta, the word Pilatus means something very different. In a blog post Norman Vella points out that the images of Labour supporters celebrating their Party’s electoral victory outside Pilatus Bank’s offices in Ta’ Xbiex last June could only mean one thing – that Labour supporters identify the bank where some of Joseph’s Muscat’s close associates and a number of people associated with the higher echelons of the current administration prefer to bank. And so, it must fall under their tribal worship too.

In Malta, the word Pilatus means a bank that should never have been licensed to operate according to former Central Bank governor Francis Vassallo.

In Malta, the word Pilatus means the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit’s (FIAU) damning report on its operations which the police never investigated. I do somehow imagine that the FIAU bases its reports on hard facts and evidence, and not fertile imagination or daydreams.

Nor do I imagine that the staff at FIAU write reports for the purpose of leaking them, and await Finance Minister Edward ‘U ejja, come on’ Scicluna to substantiate the allegations.

In Malta, the word Pilatus means assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Time after time she signalled extremely dubious methods used by Pilatus Bank, all of which went uninvestigated (though now it seems that the she has been really and truly vindicated).

The Chief Justice’s words to the EP delegation on Rule of Law to Malta should really be emphasised – “police do not need ‘reasonable suspicion’ to initiate a criminal investigation. Investigations can be started by the police with simple information of a crime brought to their attention, in any form”. So, after all, Caruana Galizia’s blogs with the accompanying documentary evidence could and should have been investigated.

In Malta, the word Pilatus means SLAPP. The notorious bank slapped Caruana Galizia with a 40 million law suit that was far too expensive to defend. In other words, it was nothing more than an attempt to silence the fourth estate through coercion.

In Malta, the word Pilatus means Ali Sadr Hasheminejad, owner and chairman of Pilatus Bank, who was indicted on six charges by the FBI in the US. He is facing up to 125 years in prison.

He gained notoriety on the night Caruana Galizia published her report saying Michelle Muscat, the Prime Minister’s wife, is the owner of the infamous Panama company Egrant. He rushed out of the bank from the back door in the dead of night with two suitcases, only to find himself faced by a reporter and a TV camera from Net News. It was widely assumed the suitcases contained the documents needed as evidence to substaniate Caruana Galizia’s revelations, yet he claimed that the suitcases contained clothes.

Ali Sadr made a dash to his car and only turned to speak to the journalist once the suitcases were safely in his car, arrogantly belittling the journalist because he did not speak to him in English. Seeing the trouble he took to ensure that the suitcases were safe in the trunk of his car then the clothes in them must have been very dirty and in dire need of a good wash.


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