Former MEP Marlene Mizzi has long been knitting with only one needle. Yet she’s just been appointed Ambassador to Norway. She’s been non-resident Ambassador to Sweden for over a year. She’s also a director at Malita Investment, a government-controlled real estate investment company involved in a housing project of 700 apartments and 300 garages.
While representing our country, Mizzi was busy writing insulting letters to Mr Justice Lawrence Mintoff. The Judge had dared to rule against her.
Mizzi had filed a libel suit against David Casa for highlighting that she was leasing office premises from her own daughter “payment free, implying funds are pocketed”. Mizzi admitted using her daughter’s premises.
When the court ruled this “could not but signify that the applicant was being spared an expense she would have had to fork out,” she was surprised. The court turned down Mizzi’s claim against Casa ruling that his was “an expression of opinion on a matter of public interest”.
Mizzi couldn’t fathom how ridiculous her libel claim was. So she appealed.
Mr Justice Mintoff confirmed the court’s decision. Casa’s comments were again deemed “fair”. The court noted that Mizzi failed to provide any receipts or audited accounts, to prove she used all her general expenses allowances. She didn’t pay back the European Parliament any unspent allowance either. Instead of learning her lesson, Mizzi got back at the judge, abusively writing him an insulting letter. The judge received it on 17 February 2021 and swiftly reported it to the police.
On 12 May, Ambassador Mizzi was charged in court. The case was dismissed. Not because Mizzi was innocent of the accusations, but because the date of the summons was not clearly legible. It was “easily legible,” the AG protested. But the court ruled there was “reasonable doubt” about the date’s legibility. So our Ambassador, charged with a criminal offence, was exonerated on the most ridiculous pretext – an illegible date.
Mizzi has a history of writing insulting letters. On 24 January 2014, she wrote one to Manfred Weber, the EPP chairman. Weber had requested suitable protection for his visit to Malta.
In shambolic English and massacred grammar, Mizzi heaped her wrath on Weber. For good effect, she copied European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, simply referring to him as President Tajani. “This is shameful letter,” she mangled, “you are repeating what you have been told by persons who only have partisan interest”.
The short letter was riddled with errors – “passed the test with flying colour”, “I expected a more responsible behaviour”, “nobody has flagged an issues,” “to throw aspersions”. “You are evidently parroting information you have been given,” she churlishly accused. “May I respectfully recommend that instead of using someone else’s mind you use your own independent mind,” she concluded crudely.
In March 2018, she aimed her rudeness at the Chief Justice. Two law graduates were awarded their warrant despite having received suspended sentences for stealing a credit card and using it to purchase goods. Her husband was on the judicial panel awarding those warrants. Mizzi accused the Chief Justice of being aware of the situation and doing nothing.
Politely, Chief Justice Camilleri explained that lawyers are assigned to examining panels by the court administration, not by him. Instead of apologising for her outburst, Mizzi obtusely retorted, “I stand by what I said and will reserve further comments as need be”.
In May that year, she made bizarre accusations against civil society organisations. In response to protests against Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar she tweeted: “What happened to the traffic policeman doing his duty, is the collateral damage caused to society by whoever undermines the authorities to fuel an agenda – usually a political one”.
She was referring to police officer Simon Schembri who was seriously injured. He was mowed down by an unlicensed teenager – not by protesters.
Three months later she coarsely insulted Simon Busuttil. The court had acceded to Busuttil’s request for a magisterial inquiry into the Panama Papers scandal. But Joseph Muscat, Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri appealed. Mizzi’s husband, Antonio Mizzi was assigned the appeal. He refused to recuse himself despite a constitutional court order.
An internet meme surfaced showing Simon Busuttil dead and buried with his partner mourning over his grave, with Schembri and Mizzi gloating. When Busuttil expressed his concerns about the threats he received, Mizzi unleashed her brand of diplomacy: “80% wish you many more years of good health as you are an asset for the PL, while the other 20% don’t really give a damn about you and would willingly ignore you; it would be nice if you could stop blabbering to the foreign press”.
In 1997, Alfred Sant appointed Mizzi Sea Malta chairperson. Sea Malta had a positive net asset value of €6.04 million. When she resigned in 2005 she left a negative net asset value of €2.79 million. In the short time under her responsibility, Sea Malta lost €8.4 million.
It was no longer viable and the government, the majority shareholder, was compelled to sell. Instead of going quietly and despite a confidentiality clause, she wrote a four page insolent resignation letter and gave a no-holds-barred interview. She accused the minister that “he will do everything to destroy my credibility”.
She accused the government, who she was meant to represent, of “dismantling our national shipping line,” “total lack of support,” and of being “foolish and short sighted”. She complained that her chairperson’s car was nine years old.
Politely accepting her resignation, then-Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi pointed out that “over time you have refused to understand our policy, not to mention to comply with it”. He expressed his disappointment that her damaging remarks came right in the middle of negotiations with a potential investor.
Marlene Mizzi was not appointed for her decency, decorum or diplomacy. Her appointment reeks of Labour’s dumb recklessness. Mizzi has cost Malta dear. But Labour persists in wrecking Malta’s reputation by rewarding loyalty. Labour’s cronyism sneers at the national interest.