Opinion: Labour’s grand conspiracy

In the run-up to the MEP elections, Alex Agius Saliba declared, “This won’t be a just process but has been turned into a political vendetta”. He wasn’t referring to the European elections but to the mega-trial at which Muscat and his close allies face long jail sentences if convicted.

Agius Saliba mopped up the majority of Labour votes. He rode to victory propelled by his friend, Joseph Muscat, the man charged with serious crimes.  Agius Saliba will head Labour’s delegation at the European Parliament.

He’s touted as Malta’s future Labour leader and prime minister. He’s Muscat’s protege. Yet Agius Saliba claims the whole process is nothing but a “political vendetta”.  

So was the National Audit Office, which produced three damning voluminous reports about the Vitals scandal, also part of that political vendetta? Were two courts that concluded that the Vitals deal was fraudulent and that senior government officials colluded in that fraud part of the vendetta? 

Was Mr Justice Francesco Depasquale part of it? Were Chief Justice Mark Chetcuti, Mr Justice Giannino Caruana Demajo and Mr Justice Anthony Ellul all part of the vendetta? 

Was the US State Department, which banned Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi and their families from entering the US because of credible information about involvement in serious corruption part of it too?  Was the Labour Party that removed Konrad Mizzi from its parliamentary group and removed Keith Schembri part of Agius Saliba’s vendetta?

Agius Saliba’s claims are entirely hollow. There’s no vendetta; there’s only justice – that hopefully will reach every citizen, no matter how shielded he is by the country’s most powerful entity—the Labour Party. 

For Agius Saliba’s claims to be remotely credible, he must explain how tens of thousands of euros reached Muscat’s BOV account from a company whose ultimate beneficial owner was Shaukat Ali, who also, as it turns out, was the “major shareholder” of our three hospitals. 

Agius Saliba needs to explain how two of a host of companies set up by Shaukat Ali in secrecy jurisdictions, Accutor AG and Spring X Media, paid tens of thousands to Muscat. He needs to explain how those companies also paid Ram Tumuluri and Konrad Mizzi and how Keith Schembri benefitted from their association with them.  

He needs to explain how Shaukat Ali and his family received huge sums of money from those same companies and how €360,000 meant to go into our hospitals was used to set up Accutor AG. He must also explain why Steward paid Accutor € 3.6 million in 2018.

Agius Saliba might know why Accutor AG’s accounts were frozen after two suspicious payments of 15,000 each were funnelled to Muscat within weeks of his ousting. He must know that Accutor AG was dissolved by the regulator, Malta’s own business registry, for its years-long failure to file audited accounts and other corporate documents, in breach of Maltese law. 

He should know that Accutor’s former owner-director, Kamal Sharma, testified the company was “a criminal organisation”. Does Agius Saliba think that the Malta Business Registry is part of that vendetta against Muscat, too?

Agius Saliba must either be the dumbest person on the planet or is being deviously dishonest to protect his friend and former boss, Joseph Muscat.

Agius Saliba must surely realise that Muscat wasn’t simply unlucky that every single person he picked ended up being accused or charged with serious crimes or found guilty of ethics breaches – Keith Schembri, Konrad Mizzi, Chris Cardona, Frederick Azzopardi, James Piscopo, Adrian Hillman,  Heathcliff Azzopardi, Neville Gafa, Ram Tumuluri, Shaukat Ali, Armin Ernst, Yorgen Fenech, Silvio Grixti, Rosianne Cutajar.

Is it just Muscat’s bad luck that all his major projects – Vitals, American University of Malta, Electrogas, Mozura, the SVPR extension, the Marsa flyover – were a disaster, mired in corruption or still subject to magisterial inquiries?

If we assume for one second that Muscat is completely innocent, he must have the lousiest judgment ever.  He must be the stupidest, most naive man that walked the earth.  But he’s also the luckiest.

Despite his disastrous fiascos, his failure to complete a full term in office despite his massive public support, and his award of the most corrupt politician on earth, he managed to secure multiple consultancies within weeks of stepping down. Despite his calamitous record, he managed to earn over €450,000 within months of stepping down. 

Muscat isn’t stupid.  He knew exactly what was going on. He was part of it and responsible for it. Labour keeps pushing the big lie that Muscat knew nothing, that he’s honest and has nothing to do with the fraud and collusion, that everybody is out to get him and that this is just a political vendetta against the saviour of the nation.  Labour’s big lie is that it’s just a political hit job.

That isn’t just Joseph Muscat’s lie.  There’s no way that the lie could have been maintained simply on the strength of Muscat.

Yes, he has a huge megaphone, great charisma, a massive loyal following and a pushy wife. But the lie lasted because Agius Saliba, his fellow MEPs, practically the entire cabinet, and most importantly, the prime minister went along with it.

Robert Abela embraced it and made it his own, attacking the magistrate. Jonathan Attard attacked the prosecutor. Labour keeps repeating the lie over and over again. They know the more they repeat it, the more people will believe it.

Muscat’s lie is a big lie, not just because it’s manifestly untrue.  It’s because structurally, it’s a falsehood so grand that once you believe it, you have to disbelieve everyone else and everything else – two court rulings, three NAO reports, a 1200-page inquiry, the US State Department, the AG, the police.  

You have to start thinking of the real world as a conspiracy denying your own manufactured “truth”.  You have to believe Abela’s conspiracy that everybody else is part of the “cruel establishment,” that everyone is against you and your party, and you have to destroy everybody else to preserve your own survival.

That’s Labour – a party that thrives on reckless, outlandish conspiracy theories. Labour stands at the cusp of destroying our democracy again.

                           

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6 Comments
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saviour mamo
saviour mamo
26 days ago

Alex Aguis Saliba is not the sharpest knife in the drawer and with his silly comments, he shows it.

Emmanuel
Emmanuel
26 days ago

Unfounded conspiracy theories make up much of the agenda of populist parties

joe tedesco
joe tedesco
26 days ago

JUST IGNORE AGIUS SALIBA AS AN EMPTY LOUDMOUTH.

chris
chris
26 days ago

Agius Saliba seems to be the artful dodger’s favourite muppet. Why? Because his ‘intellect’ has been hijacked by the devious convictus whom, for years, has orchestrated the manipulation of SuperOne and other media outlets to capture and stun its listeners.

S. Camilleri
S. Camilleri
26 days ago

“Agius Saliba will head Labour’s delegation at the European Parliament.” Not a bright choice; but seeing the composition of the delegation, that would be the case whoever they chose.

joseph
joseph
26 days ago

I agree with Kevin Cassar’s article,but I definitely disagree with him calling Muscat charismatic. Far from it!

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