Disgraced former prime minister jailed

The disgraced former prime minister has finally been sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment. He’s been convicted of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering.

Despite the threats and intimidation the judges received, they stood firm and delivered their sentence against the once untouchable former leader.  He must also cough up US$47 million in fines, which many considered lenient considering that over US$700 million passed through his accounts.

Most importantly, the sentence bans him from running for office, at least for the foreseeable future, and that is probably the most important part of his punishment.

That sentence finally delivers justice many had long waited for.  And it lets citizens breathe a sigh of relief that there will be no comeback any time soon. 

After his brazen campaigning in the last election, his pressing of the flesh, his endorsement of selected candidates, and his shameless hogging of the limelight, even after being forced out just months earlier, raised the fear that he was planning a return.

Many suspected his resurfacing was just a desperate attempt to fend off his conviction.  The impressive electoral victory he helped secure for his party fuelled worries that conviction would never come.

The repeated death threats to the judges hearing the case and the clamour of party loyalists to the government to intervene to save their former leader’s skin added to those concerns.

But the prime minister sat back and let events unfold.  He let the institutions work. He distanced himself from his former party leader and predecessor. 

He refrained from intervening in the judicial process, and he was rewarded.  The jailing of his predecessor strengthens his hand in averting a “return to baseness-as-usual” and frees him of the shackles of an overbearing narcissist and his unyielding control of a faction within his party.

The new prime minister can relax, safe in the knowledge that his predecessor has been conveniently taken out of circulation – not just for now but for the future. 

The deafening roar of the convict’s loyal supporters has been silenced, and the power and authority of his successor are now unchallenged in the party and throughout the country.

The country can finally start to shed its culture of graft and corruption. The nation can now quietly chew on the magnitude of its former prime minister’s crimes.

He ransacked the country’s coffers, spending it on expensive diamond jewellery for his wife, lavish trips abroad, and other luxuries. More than US$700 million of the nation’s wealth was siphoned into the prime minister’s account.  

His crimes spread across several jurisdictions. Investigations of his crimes were carried out in six different countries driven primarily by the American Department of Justice. The scale of his pilfering was obscene.  His insatiable greed nailed him.

And there are more corruption cases still to come.  There are another four still in the works.  A verdict is soon expected in a corruption case against his wife.

The 12-year sentence is a crushing victory for the rule of law. It is an endorsement and commitment to justice that sends the clear message that no matter who you are, you will be prosecuted and punished for your crimes. But it is also a massive injection of optimism for the country – a ray of hope that things can be better, will be better.

Sadly that country is Malaysia, and the convicted former prime minister Najib Razak.  The only things Malta shares with Malaysia are the first three letters of its name. Otherwise, Malta couldn’t be more different.

Years after overwhelming evidence of rampant corruption was exposed at the highest office of the country, years after damning FIAU reports on the criminal activity of a minister and the prime minister’s chief of staff, and months after the link was exposed between money paid by Steward to Accutor and money paid by Accutor into Joseph Muscat’s bank account, no indictments and no prosecutions, have materialised.

Blatant cases of corruption – SOCAR, Mozura, Vitals-Steward, Electrogas, Technoline – remain untouched as ‘secret’ beneficiaries safely siphon millions out of public funds every single day.

The threats and intimidation of the judiciary and prosecutors by Joseph Muscat and his throngs of supporters led by the notorious Manuel Cuschieri and Jason Micallef were flagrant. 

Worse still, Muscat’s successor, Robert Abela, joined the onslaught.  Instead of letting the institutions work, from his position of power, he threatened the judiciary openly. 

He condemned decisions taken by the magistrate without knowing the full details.  He disregarded the backlash his shameful meddling with the judiciary would create and the damage it would cause to our democracy and the country’s reputation.

As Malaysia delivered a resounding victory for justice, Robert Abela dealt a devastating defeat for the rule of law in Malta.

Najib Razak’s comeuppance gives his nation hope.  Joseph Muscat’s persistent impunity and Robert Abela’s assault on the judiciary to protect him extinguishes any fading prospects. 

As Malaysia discards Razak’s legacy of graft, Robert Abela diligently refines and develops Muscat’s. As Malaysia turns over a new leaf, Malta festers in a putrefying cesspit – fixed on the path of looting disguised as politics.

Those whose scandalous misconduct has been so convincingly documented and who have shown no remorse or even admitted their transgressions must not be allowed to walk free.

                           
                               
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Danny
Danny
20 days ago

BTW – there is a massive scandal brewing in Malaysia over a military ship and millions that were syphoned off via a Maltese company

Marianna Galea Xuereb
Marianna Galea Xuereb
17 days ago
Reply to  Danny

What Maltese company?

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
20 days ago

I envy Malaysia. That is the way a country progresses and move forward.

Raymond Gerada
Raymond Gerada
20 days ago

Qed tiffissa!!

D. Borg
D. Borg
20 days ago

The convicted disgraced Razak’s crucial mistake, might have been that he had failed to appoint (the current Malaysian PM) Yaakob, as his “personal legal advisor” whilst Razak was in office.

James
James
20 days ago

A wonderfully crafted piece as ever. Perhaps the saviour, just as in Malaysia, will turn out to be the US Justice Department who finally bit the bullet and decide enough is enough? The first seeds might have been sown on December 22nd last year when the State Department named and shamed Konrad Mizzi and Kieth Schembri and banned them and family members from entering the US. Out of little acorns do oak trees grow…

Francis Said
Francis Said
20 days ago

The article is so factual that I truly cannot give my two cents worth to add to such a true and unfortunately for Malta, the deep rot that has withered away our moral conscience and principles.
How sad that unfortunately so many people cannot grasp this concept and say loud and clear. ENOUGH.

joe tedesco
joe tedesco
17 days ago

MALTA IS DOOMED TO CORRUPTION UNDER THE PL GOVERNMENT.

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