Government handed “red card” at Castille protest

There was enough evidence to know that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was using his institutional office to protect Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi and chief of staff Keith Schembri, activist group Occupy Justice said in a protest outside Castille today.

They held up posters which were an imitation of the Panini football stickers depicting Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, his chief of staff Keith Schembri and Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi. All three were given a “red card” as the crowd that gathered shouted “out” (barra).

Konrad red card

PM red card

“The World Cup may be over, but here in Malta the World Cup of Corruption is still ongoing.  We still have three key players who have been shown the red card over and over, yet they won’t get off the pitch,” they said on the steps of Castille following a vigil in Valletta to mark the nine month anniversary since the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Nine months after Caruana Galizia’s death, there were still no answers as to who had commissioned her murder, the activists said.

There was enough documented evidence to know that Schembri and Mizzi set up a money laundering structures to receive illicit kickbacks, the organisation said.

On Tuesday, the European Banking Authority declared that the FIAU breached EU law on money laundering because of its inaction on Pilatus bank. Based on this, the European Commission may now institute infringement procedures against Malta, they said.

Occupy Justice said they gave the three politicians a “red card because you are spiralling Malta’s reputation down the drain”.

“You are ruining Team Malta,” they added.

They said they would keep on fighting to save our country from being hijacked by mafia crooks – “we will not rest until justice is served”.

Speaking in front of Caruana Galizia’s memorial, activist Petra Caruana asked “if there was a division between three pillars of democracy, wouldn’t we have justice for Daphne by now?”

Ann Demarco read out an excerpt from Caruana Galizia’s blog taken from May 2017.

Earlier in the day, activist group il-Kenniesa stuck 900 banners around the island reading “Justice for Daphne, “Panama Papers”, “Sunny Malta, where a journalist was killed for writing the truth”.

In a tweet, the group said: “To Joseph Muscat’s muppets we say, enjoy removing 900 banners of truth in this scorching heat”. They also hung a banner on the court gates saying “who ordered Daphne’s assassination”.

Occupy Justice court

The banners were fixed on the route leading from the Prime Minister’s private residence in Burmarrad to Valletta – specifically intended to catch his eye on his way to Castille in the morning.

Earlier in the day, The Times of Malta released a video where a man was seen calmly ripping off the posters from the trees.

Maria Efimova tweeted: Good luck to him tearing down the remaining 899. Act of true despair, reminding me of my kindergarten mate who was tearing my drawings.

The 900 banners were removed later in the day by the Planning Authority officials, saying these were illegal because these were not covered by a permit and also created a danger to drivers because of their position and quantity.

Reporters Without Borders in a tweet said they will continue to fight to end justice for journalists everywhere.

These banners echo the question that people want answered but, so far, has not been reflected in the attitude and behaviour of public officials and Labour MPs.

Read more: Disinformation Watch #10 – The Blame Game: Government’s reaction to a journalist’s assassination


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