On 3 April 2019, The Economist reported the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) findings on Malta that, “No visible disciplinary or criminal justice response to claims of impropriety even when some of them have been confirmed by subsequent National Audit Office audits.
“The senior officials who have been suspected of criminal or ethical misbehaviour are still in function”.
Almost four years later, they’re still in function. Despite Alex Agius Saliba’s hysterical protestations at the European Parliament, no action has been taken against those “senior officials”.
Konrad Mizzi hasn’t been charged, let alone convicted. Yet the US State Department declared Mizzi was involved in significant corruption. They had enough evidence to conclude he “used his political influence and official power for his personal benefit”. Labour’s Attorney General and Police Commissioner still haven’t taken action.
Keith Schembri is still doing well. He’s still getting one direct order after another from Robert Abela’s government.
In May 2022 the Water Services Corporation issued a €10,000 direct order to a Kasco group company. Kasco Ltd was awarded another €52,650 tender by MCAST. In October 2022 the University of Malta awarded Schembri a €9,000 direct order.
Schembri is banned from entering the US because of “credible information” that he was involved in a corrupt scheme that entailed the award of a government contract for the construction of a power plant in exchange for kickbacks and bribes.
Schembri still hasn’t been charged over ElectroGas. And he’s still reaping the financial benefits of his links to the Labour Party.
Chris Cardona, Edward Scicluna, Edward Zammit Lewis, Rosianne Cutajar, Anton Refalo, Silvio Schembri and Joseph Muscat continue with their lives unbothered by police action.
The same applies to former police commissioner Laurence Cutajar, deputy commissioner Silvio Valletta and assistant commissioner Ian Abdilla.
EU Commissioner Vera Jourova denounced Labour’s failures. “The length of proceedings has continued to deteriorate,” she lamented.
Although Malta increased the allocation of resources to investigative and prosecution bodies, “The investigation into high-level corruption cases remains lengthy.”
Even more depressing is the Commissioner’s finding that, “Results in terms of final judgements are still lacking and remain a cause for concern.”
The truth is that Labour simply appeased Europe by pretending to bolster the police and the judiciary. It’s been hoodwinking Europe for years.
While pretending to take action to rectify the serious deficiencies in the rule of law, convictions are never secured.
In most cases, no charges have even been lodged. In those cases where key players have been indicted, as in the case of Keith Schembri, Brian Tonna and Adrian Hillman, frozen assets have been thawed.
Hearings are deferred and the whole process is prolonged interminably enabling the accused to carry on with their life. He’s even been awarded damages. Yet €250,000 he owed in taxes was not pursued for years.
Agius Saliba continues to make an utter fool of himself at the European Parliament. He accused those who highlighted Labour’s perversion of justice of “repeating recycled information and misinformation”.
What misinformation? Maybe Alex Agius Saliba could name a single high-profile member of Labour’s administration who’s been convicted and sentenced.
Despite FIAU reports, NAO reports highlighting collusion and incontrovertible evidence provided by journalists, nothing happens.
US$200,000 was paid to 17 Black by Mario Pullicino, the local agent for the LNG tanker fuelling the ElectroGas power station. US$1.4 million was deposited into 17 Black via the Latvian ABLV Bank, which has since been liquidated after US authorities uncovered its large-scale money laundering.
17 Black received millions of dollars from the Mozura wind farm deal. We all know who 17 Black belonged to. 17 Black was listed as the “main client” and “possible payer” of Konrad Mizzi’s and Keith Schembri’s Panama companies.
GRECO warned that the state institutions and public administration must not “be a tool at the service of the ruling majority”. That was four years ago.
Swift action was taken against Mark Camilleri, yet Pilatus officials haven’t been prosecuted.
The court ordered an investigation of former Police commissioner Laurence Cutajar but nothing happened. The Egrant inquiry ordered an investigation of Karl Cini. Nothing happened.
The German police issued a European Arrest warrant against Iosif Galea, Joseph Muscat’s travelling mate. The police ignored it.
The FIAU concluded damning reports about Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri but no action was taken. The hospitals concession was deemed fraudulent by the court but the police failed to act.
The institutions are nothing but “a tool at the service of the ruling majority”.
GRECO was right when it stated that “the police have the reputation of being traditionally heavily subjected to the executive branch of power”.
They still are.
Malta “clearly lacks an overall strategy for ensuring the integrity of government officials,” the Economist reported in 2019. It still does. We know why.
Because leading the government is a man so crooked that he not only condones the shocking sleaze of his MPs but rewards them with key responsibilities.
Anton Refalo was made a minister despite having lifted a piece of history.
Rosianne Cutajar was allowed to run on the party ticket and was appointed chairperson of the parliamentary health committee after being found guilty of ethics breaches and condemned by the Council of Europe.
Abela’s still defending her despite appointing herself to an ITS consultancy position.
Silvio Schembri is protected by Abela despite his unexplained use of district offices and he won’t say whether he owns them or not.
Abela defends Ian Borg after his swimming pool permit was declared illegal.
He appointed Edward Scicluna as governor of the Central Bank of Malta.
He’s still awarding Keith Schembri direct orders.
He rewarded Joseph Muscat with €120,000, use of government offices, a laptop, printer, landlines and even a €36,000 car for his wife. He appointed former police commissioner Laurence Cutajar as a consultant.
Labour’s MEPs are outraged because the European Parliament is discussing Malta’s trampling of the rule of law.
Look at all the investment Labour’s made in strengthening the independence of the judiciary, they protest. Look at all the investment in the police.
Those investments count for nothing, they are just a smokescreen to silence critics.
Labour’s MEPs cannot deny one simple truth.
Despite the mountain of evidence provided by the court, NAO and journalists – nobody’s been convicted.
In the Commissioner words, “Things have continued to deteriorate”
Institutions must protect the people, not those who betrayed them
Follow my speech at the plenary session of the European Parliament.
This link supports the view that the majority of the European Parliament members are in agreement with the content of Kevin’s excellent article.
A true picture of the rotten state of the rule of law in Malta. Led by a group of untouchables.
The group of untouchables was set to gather this evening to discuss the ‘case Cutajar’. In order to save herself all the embarrassment to face a predictable decission, she took the consequences and resigned from the PL parliamentary group herself, but to stay on as an independent MP for the rest of the parliamentary term. That was just a couple of hours ago, as the Times of Malta reports.
But still, in her opinion, there was no wrongdoing on her part. She rather laments the way she’s been treated. Quite a stark contrast to what she said in her chats with YF.
Entangled in lies and the more one twists and turns the worst it gets.
And they have the nerve to call others ‘traitors’. Defending corruption means taking part in it.
It’s a tricky omertà standoff – one goes down, they all go down.
And there’s the rub… as long as the “ untouchables “ are allowed to play their games on the home turf of Malta with the “ untouchables “ retaining total control of ensuring the match officials are hand picked to ensure that no matter what or how, the home team will win and the “ untouchables “ will remain just that, there can and will be no change in the status quo.
The venue needs to be changed with neutral officials in charge and the Maltese officials banned from attending any games where Malta is playing to ensure a fair result is reached.
The Council of Europe has already effectively voted on it in 2022 when they voted by a huge majority that Malta could not be trusted to uphold the rule of law. It just needs to deliver now.
Get Karl Cini in the dock, he has the key to unlock mayhem in the Mafia.
Pigs might fly – or become bacon.
Make him speak through his nose.
Like a pack of cards!
There are four PL MEPs and they are all apparently left to play by the directives they receive from Castille. Whether it is just Mr Agius Saliba who is making a fool of himself is a matter shared by his fellow PL MEPs too, in the light of all what is mentioned in this article.
The PL has entangled itself with corruption, and the trampling on the rule of law often goes hand in hand with it. A very negative cycle that keeps giving and also lives from taking, leading to the perfect road to political downfall.
The crumbling caused from the outside, by the media, has reveived an additional blow from the inside by the WhatsApp chats published by Mark Camilleri. I wonder for how long this PL Ivory Tower built on all the negatives it has become exposed for, is yet to last until it finally comes down into pieces. Another four years to go, because the PL is not inclined to resign over any further scandals and call for a new GE.
There is a satirical look at Labour’s 10 years in government, published yesterday in the opinion section of the Times of Malta which sums it all up.
‘Labour’s 10 years, according to Robert Abela – Alessandra Dee Crespo’
A look into the past, look at the present and the prospect of the future with another four years with the PL in govt.
There are many ghosts at the European Parliament.
None of them appear in the photo!
One expects this kind of hot air from Aguis Saliba; he’s just another puppet manipulated by Muscat’s/Abela’s strings.