Labour MP Glenn Bedingfield does not have any concerns at all about corruption in Malta and downplayed allegations involving government’s top officials as a “politically charged smear campaign.”
Interviewed by American TV network CBS, Bedingfield said there was a “smear campaign trying to hit government” when asked whether he was concerned by the allegations involving the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri and minister Konrad Mizzi.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat refused to be interviewed on the network’s 60 Minutes – America’s oldest and most watched news programme – given that he “didn’t have enough time” and instead sent finance minister Edward Scicluna to face the journalists.
Scicluna was equally dismissive of the allegations, insisting that “it looks bad, but it’s not”.
Pressed on the matter, Scicluna said “they are serious allegations, but they’re still allegations” and it’s up to the courts to decide on them.
Among various ongoing investigations, Schembri, is accused of having received questionable payments, which originated from Russian nationals who acquired Maltese citizenship, into his Pilatus Bank account, while together with Mizzi he is accused of having set up secret offshore companies with the intention of receiving payments from a businessman involved in the construction of a new power plant.
The programme also features interviews with Socialist MEP Ana Gomes who described Malta’s political system as “rotten.”
60 Minutes also featured assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia’s son, Matthew, who in a moving interview said his mother “felt fear” adding that “she knew that the powerful people that she wrote about were closing in on her. They were using every possible means to shut her down. She knew that and that frightened her deeply.”
He said the car bomb which killed his mother was a message to her, her family and anyone fighting corruption in Malta.
Asked when he would know that justice is done, Matthew Caruana Galizia said “when all the corrupt people she was reporting on, treating our country as a gigantic trough which they’re feeding from for years, when they’ve paid the price for that then there will be justice for my mother’s stories. But there also has to be justice for her murder.”
To watch the 60 Minutes report on Malta,