Knock knock knocking on Muscat’s door

Malta’s police are surely among the most courteous of law enforcement officials.

Police generally raid suspects by surprise. That’s why it happens so early in the morning when people are bleary-eyed and thoughts run slow (if they run at all). The chance of finding useful evidence is much higher when the suspect doesn’t know they’re coming, but I suppose they just have to weigh their priorities.

Joseph Muscat looked remarkably chipper for a man“only half surprised” by a 7am knock on the door.

He didn’t write his partner’s phone number on his arm or chuck his mobile in the harbour, but he was ready with a carefully prepared file containing everything he’d like investigators to know about that €60,000 payment he received from Accutor — which had nothing whatsoever to do with hospitals in Malta despite the €3.6 million Accutor received from Steward on the day the latter finalised an agreement to take over those same hospitals.

For all we know, the always thorough ‘consulting economist’ may even have included the questions to go with them.

How Muscat knew what the police were supposed to be looking for is another issue. What if they’d been searching for Keith Schembri’s lost phone?

At least they spared him the indignity of being asked — like the Degiorgio brothers  — “Who told you we were coming? How did you know we were coming? You smelt us coming?”

Muscat had already tried to give this vital evidence to the magistrate investigating the corrupt hospitals deal back in November, but his generous offer was declined as irrelevant. Lucky for everyone concerned, he didn’t throw it in the trash.

In a video interview conducted by invitation immediately after the police left, Muscat told The Times, “The file contains documented proof of the work I did. None of the work has anything to do with the Maltese hospitals. There is also proof of the trips abroad I took related to this work.”

If only he’d been so forthcoming about ‘proving’ who paid for his holiday at Yorgen Fenech’s French hotel, or who covered first class tickets for him and his family when they took a 70 hour ‘holiday’ to Dubai shortly after his December 2019 non-resignation.

Unfortunately, all was not well in the home of the Kickback Kink. His faith in the ongoing magisterial inquiry has been “dented” even more deeply than his furrowed brow.

The man whose concern for the preservation of official documents was such that he used a private US-based email server throughout his tenure, rather than his prime ministerial address on the government server, carped about “needless theatrics” and claimed the entire search had been done to “humiliate” him.

He must have been referring to a loss of face or status rather than embarrassment, given the utter shamelessness he’s displayed throughout his political career.

As for the current prime minister, a man widely seen as Muscat’s marionette, he’s gone back to the tired and obviously broken refrain of “let the institutions work” — with one caveat.

“Naturally these institutions must be careful to retain that trust,” Abela said. But they can do so only if they’re solely used for the administration of justice “and nothing else”.

Whose trust they’re meant to retain is exactly the question we should all be asking.

This raid has certainly shaken the confidence of Muscat’s most undeserving hangers-on.

Ever desperate to get his name in the headlines without doing anything of substance to merit it,  the man who turned Malta’s European Capital of Culture into a continental embarrassment has called for Labour stalwarts to take to the streets in protest against the supposed injustice of searching the home of a public official who has been linked — repeatedly, ad nauseam — to colossal levels of political corruption and to the brutal murder of the journalist who was investigating it.

“Muscat is one of us,” Jason Micallef barked, prompting this writer to wonder whether the vapid windbag received more than just plush government appointments for jobs he was utterly unqualified to perform.

Presumably, this threat to mobilise Labour thugs is some sort of Plan B in the event that Muscat’s helpful folder of “proof” isn’t taken at face value.

Was the search of Joseph Muscat’s home a genuine attempt by honest investigators to examine the actions of a man who until now has remained untouchable? Or is it the rumblings of a turf war between Muscat’s followers and those of his successor?

Until we learn more, we’re left pondering an earlier series of arrests that had also been magically anticipated.

Vince Muscat testified that the hitmen who killed Daphne Caruana Galizia knew about their impending arrest — down to the hour — two or three weeks before it happened.

Melvin Theuma was told to “make one hundred per cent sure everywhere is clean” before police arrived to investigate him for money laundering. Far from panicking, he tried to bargain over the date so the search wouldn’t happen on a Saturday.

Hours before he was seized on the high seas, Yorgen Fenech asked Keith Schembri if “they were going to come today.” Keith said, “Nooooo” — and they wouldn’t have, either, if Fenech hadn’t panicked and ran.

As for Schembri, he lost his phone in the immediate vicinity of his own house 30 minutes before police knocked on his door. He’d spent the previous evening in Burmarrad at a late night meeting with Joseph Muscat.

And now financial crime investigators have finally knocked on the door of the disgraced former prime minister.

Unfortunately, the only thing clear about this latest performance is just how murky the intentions are behind it.

                           
                               
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viv
viv
3 months ago

Joseph Bonafarte should be taken to Filfla, and the dinghy punctured.

Charmaine Spiteri
Charmaine Spiteri
3 months ago

Joseph Muscat brings to mind Tantalus who (in Greek mythology) was punished for his crimes by the Gods by being thrown out of Olympus and condemned to stand in a pool of water from which he could never drink, sheltered by a tree the fruit of which he could never eat, and threatened by a massive boulder that hung forever over his head.

carlo
carlo
3 months ago

The corrupt trolls are now trying to destabilise Malta more they’ve already done. SHAME ON YOU.

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