Labour undermining security – Kevin Cassar

“The news was dominated by the story of Iosif Galea who despite a European Arrest Warrant was allowed to travel abroad to enjoy a holiday with former prime minister Joseph Muscat.  Could you give us information as the minister responsible as to why the European Arrest Warrant was not executed?”, Minister Byron Camilleri was asked in parliament.

Malta’s failure to execute the arrest raises serious concerns, not only nationally but throughout Europe. Malta’s refusal to comply with European Arrest Warrants (EAW) defeats the main objective of the European Council framework of EAWs.  The European Union boasts that the EAW “is the most successful instrument of judicial cooperation in criminal matters in the Union”. Not anymore.

As the whole European Union agonises over the systematic degradation of the rule of law in its smallest member state, Minister Byron Camilleri deployed the infantile partisan tactics so characteristic of the woefully inept. Instead of answering the legitimate and pointed question, he resorted to Super One sarcasm. It wasn’t funny. It was as hostile as it was insipid.

“I do not agree with one point,” he said, “this weekend the news was dominated by the internal turmoil within the PN – and that’s the only news I saw”. As his Party MPs giggled and guffawed, Byron smiled self-contentedly to himself. “I will answer the question,” he continued, “I spoke to the Police Commissioner. I am informed that the case is being investigated.  And if anybody failed his duty, action will be taken”.

His answer raised more questions. “Did you order an investigation about what happened? Who is conducting the investigation?”, the opposition MP asked.

Having learnt his trade under Joseph Muscat, the master of acerbic arrogance, Byron kept digging. “I congratulate Dr Bernard Grech who was confirmed as PN Leader – probably this side of the House is happier than the other side, there are more satisfied members on this side that Grech was reconfirmed Leader,” he mocked to bellowing laughter from his colleagues.

“I only say one thing”, he persisted, “our investigations are done properly and are not terminated when somebody’s name crops up”.

Minister Camilleri failed to address any of the disturbing issues. The police were legally responsible for arresting Iosif Galea. They didn’t – for over a year.

This wasn’t a one off.  Our police force has a long track record of failing to arrest and prosecute alleged criminals but also of actively protecting them – from Neville Gafa, the Maksar brothers, Keith Schembri, Ryan Schembri, Konrad Mizzi, Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar, Deputy Commissioner Silvio Valletta, Ian Abdilla, former MGA CEO Joseph Cuschieri, Evarist Bartolo’s chief canvasser Edward Caruana, Adrian Hillman, James Piscopo, Pilatus boss Ali Sadr Hasheminejad, Yorgen Fenech.

After police failed to convict and jail one of the Maksar brothers for drug trafficking, several citizens were blown up in car bombs. Minister Byron Camilleri expects Malta, and the whole European Union, to be reassured when he informed the House that the police are conducting internal investigations into their own malicious dereliction of duty.

Camilleri messed up badly, again. He obstinately refused to listen to all the sensible voices clamouring for the removal of Colonel Alex Dalli.  He procrastinated. More young lives were lost. Now he’s pursuing the same mindless path with Iosif Galea.

The minister contemptuously refuses to answer basic questions. His inexperience, incompetence and infantilism prevent him from gauging the seriousness of the matter. Boosted by the puerile merriment of his backbenchers, he wallows in petty partisanship, while Europe watches bewildered.

In the week the LIBE committee complained about Malta’s “excruciatingly slow justice system”, the minister trivialises Malta’s refusal to surrender a suspected serious criminal to face justice elsewhere.

“Ending the culture of impunity in the country is crucial for all EU Member States,” the LIBE committee insisted. Minister Camilleri’s response is to ridicule those who question why Malta’s police are protecting yet another alleged criminal. Sophie in’t Veld was right to describe the impunity in Malta as “shocking and horrifying”.

A European Arrest Warrant is no joke. It is only issued for conducting criminal prosecution, not merely to carry out investigations.  It can only be issued for serious offences carrying a minimum penalty of 1-year imprisonment.  For Germany to issue such a warrant for Iosif Galea’s arrest is indicative of the seriousness of his suspected crimes. Germany must have sufficient evidence to prosecute him – otherwise, it couldn’t have issued an EAW.

The European Commission reported that the average time for the surrender of a person facing an EAW was 16 days.  Iosif Galea’s arrest warrant was issued over 365 days ago – and Malta still did nothing.

If the whereabouts of the wanted person is known, the EAW is usually transmitted to the relevant Member State.  If his whereabouts are unknown, the country can seek the assistance of the European judicial network or Interpol, or may issue an alert under the Schengen Information system. What happened in Iosif Galea’s case?  Why did Italy arrest him? Why not Malta?

Why did the Maltese police suddenly issue an arrest warrant for Galea? An EU Member State may refuse to surrender a wanted person if the individual is being prosecuted in that Member State for the same act. This lets Byron off the hook.  Malta can claim it failed to arrest and hand over Galea because he was being prosecuted here for the same crimes.

The EAW was meant to be a simplified cross border judicial surrender procedure for the purposes of prosecution. Malta was obliged to surrender Galea no later than 10 days after the final decision on the execution of his warrant. Instead, Labour stuck its middle finger at Europe-wide efforts to bring alleged criminals to justice. Labour’s Malta not only fails to prosecute its protégés but provides them sanctuary from European justice.

Labour’s unconscionable protection of alleged criminals threatens European security. It also reaffirms a disturbing reality – Labour will harm everybody else and endanger everything to protect its own.

                           
                               
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KLAUS
KLAUS
2 days ago

Dear Mr Kaspar,

Please stop calling the PL ‘Labour’:
It is no longer a party that represents the people. Rather, it is a mafia-like association with the aim of robbing the population – more or less – by stealth. We habe to mention this clear and loud!

In fact, in Malta, I see the word “democracy” as a hollow phrase, with the aim of making even more loot.

Democracy means “power from the people”, here in Malta it is about gross abuse of power. From my personal point of view we have a dictatorship with robber barons. Laws that are written but not applied are useless and dangerous.

The first person who should be impeached and jailed is the totally incompetent and probably criminal police commissioner Angelo Gafá who is making this possible.

Best,
Klaus

KLAUS
KLAUS
2 days ago

Dear ‘Minister’ Byron Camilleri,

As a minister, you should represent the people.
But it seems you are trying to be a good joke teller?
Telling jokes is one thing, but to be personally a joke in a very serious parliamentary assembly is a very, very sad thing.

A first step would be a (written) apology.
But personal greatness is not your strong point, I think. OR?

Best,
KLAUS

Godfrey Leone Ganado
Godfrey Leone Ganado
2 days ago

One thing Byron Camilleri takes offence about, is being referred to as ‘bogan’. Here he is right, as ‘bogan’ is an understatement, although you find that ‘boganism’ is a common factor in the Labour Mafia fold, and this is the underlying reason for the non-stop sliding down of our political reputation on the International stage of the political world.
As regards the Josif Galea notorious case, we have now given the EU, enough validated proof that Malta should be debarred from access to any EU funds, until it proves itself that it adopts and respects the fundamental rules of a real democracy.
Byron Camilleri should take his court of fellow jesters to a circus ring, where they honourably belong.

Anthony T Mamo
Anthony T Mamo
2 days ago

So it seems that Byron Camilleri only watches the “news” on One

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
1 day ago

Do they want us to believe that the Police Commissioner Anglu Gafa didn’t even know about Iosif Galea’s international warrant of arrest? I wont believe it. It is the Police Commissioner that should be investigated for negligence in his duty.

joe tedesco
joe tedesco
1 day ago

PL GOVERNMENTS UNDERMINE EVERYTHING, INCLUDING SECURITY.

Thomas
Thomas
9 hours ago

Obviously, the PL couldn’t care less about the international reputation of the Republic of Malta and not just by this example.

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