On Sunday we woke to the news that Minister Carmelo Abela is facing a fresh police investigation into claims that he was one of the inside men in the botched heist on HSBC’s headquarters in 2010. While Minister Abela’s amnesia in the matter is deserving of attention – the man honestly would want us to believe that he does not ever remember taking to the witness stand in relation to the heist – there is another part of the story that is screaming for attention.
In the land of “l-istituzzjonijiet qed jaħdmu” (the institutions are working) and “ħallu l-qrati u l-pulizija jagħmlu xogħlhom”, Judge Giovanni Grixti (judiciary) decided to notify Minister Abela (executive) about the police (executive) request for his testimony even though there was no reason for such notification.
Minister Abela is represented by Pawlu Lia, (disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat’s personal lawyer) who was nominated by said disgraced former prime minister to the Commission for the Administration of Justice (CAJ) – the disciplinary entity for the members of the judiciary.
These kinds of matters require spelling out. A Judge is acting in an unorthodox manner in a move that favours a Minister under investigation and this when said Minister is represented by a lawyer sitting on the CAJ as a nominee of the disgraced former prime minister. Let that sink in. Now repeat after me: “The institutions are working. The institutions are working…”
This brings me to that very good friend (not fiend) of mine, Christian Grima. He has become a Facebook celebrity of sorts over the past year what with his cutting and no holds barred assessments of the local political scene. One of his recent posts has gotten him into a bit of trouble with the disgraced former prime minister who took so much umbrage at its content that he has decided to sue for libel.
The game Muscat is playing is clear. He wants the ‘institutions’ to declare what everyone knows – that he did not trigger the explosive device under journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia’s vehicle 43 months ago. He wants them to read literally every time someone has implied in any way that his government has blood on its hands. He wants them to censure any such thought and writing and thus obliterate any notion of his and his government’s responsibility.
A public inquiry is still ongoing – its terms of reference are precisely that of seeing how far the State and its entities could be responsible (by act or omission) in the assassination of Caruana Galizia. The inquiry may be ongoing but in the face of the facts that have emerged to date, citizens such as Grima are surely entitled to have and express an opinion about whether they think that Muscat and his government have blood on their hands.
Everybody knows that Muscat did not pull the trigger, yet everybody is also entitled to the opinion that Muscat’s government has blood on its hands because of the intricate web of business, politics and criminality that paralysed the State.
Forty-three months ago, a journalist, mother, wife and daughter lost her life because of a failed State and failing institutions run by Joseph Muscat. “The crooks are everywhere, the situation is desperate.”