The Venice Commission does not give advice over the phone

2020-02-19T18:14:05+01:00Wed, 19th Feb '20, 18:14|

It is truly worrying to see Robert Abela’s government adopt the methods of its predecessor. One such habit was Owen Bonnici’s classic pivot of saying that the reforms he proposed were “approved by the Venice Commission”. That’s when they had not at all been approved by the Venice Commission. Byron Camilleri in parliament yesterday claimed [...]


2020-02-19T08:27:21+01:00Wed, 19th Feb '20, 08:27|

A few days ago, I titled a post about corruption within the police force as Serpico. I sort of left that word hanging there. I admit it was a bit of an indulgence. Someone in the comments board thought it was a corruption on the Maltese for snake or snakes. Some background. Francesco Vincent Serpico [...]


2020-02-18T11:29:31+01:00Tue, 18th Feb '20, 11:29|

There’s no other way of calling it. Robert Abela’s spokesman Matthew Carbone yesterday was in utter contempt of the inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. He defied the inquiry board repeatedly. He answered their questions with statements that would have been proper responses to entirely different questions. He wheeled in Charlon Gouder to [...]

Cruel and unusual punishment

2020-02-17T11:52:32+01:00Mon, 17th Feb '20, 11:52|

Photo: Ian Pace. (The Times of Malta 06.11.2013: Sneaking a peak behind the prison walls) I have filed a request with the home affairs minister to visit the prisons and other detention facilities on the island. I didn’t do it once. I wrote to Minister Michael Farrugia (who was the responsible minister at [...]

Edwin jaħasra!

2020-02-16T09:29:16+01:00Sun, 16th Feb '20, 09:29|

Edwin Vassallo said he was annoyed with a piece I wrote on Friday where I challenged Adrian Delia to reassure us his leadership campaign and his party since his election were not funded at least in part by Yorgen Fenech. It’s likely that wasn’t really the cause of his irritation. After all it’s not like [...]

THE SUNDAY TIMES: A way out of meltdown

2020-02-16T09:34:41+01:00Sun, 16th Feb '20, 08:32|

From my article in The Sunday Times today: "Chris Cardona, Keith Schembri and Joseph Muscat are named and renamed by witnesses in the proceedings against the people charged with killing Caruana Galizia. "The fact they knew about the identity of the killers before everyone else did seems now uncontested. The likelihood that they used that [...]

BBC: Malta and the Mafia

2020-02-16T08:19:20+01:00Sun, 16th Feb '20, 08:19|

Anywhere else the arrest of three-quarters of a country's traffic police would be a shocking scandal. But Malta is the country where the prime minister was implicated in the worst sort of corruption that was eventually covered up through the commissioning of the murder of a journalist. Ten years ago you could have said Malta [...]


2020-02-16T08:14:14+01:00Sun, 16th Feb '20, 08:14|

Malta Today surveyed members of the PN and asked them where they stand on Adrian Delia’s leadership and if they prefer him over the parliamentary group. Fifty-seven per cent of party members – the people that would be eligible to replace him – support Adrian Delia and want him to stay on. That result means [...]


2020-02-15T18:29:58+01:00Sat, 15th Feb '20, 18:29|

#occupyjustice statement: Two months ago #occupyjustice called for the arrest of corrupt individuals, involved directly, or indirectly, in the plot hatched to assassinated investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia -  a plot that leads right up the steps of Auberge de Castille, into the Office of a disgraced Prime Minister. We are still waiting. These people [...]

Is anyone actually enforcing the law?

2020-02-15T15:30:55+01:00Sat, 15th Feb '20, 15:30|

The Police Department has hit the wall. Thanks to Manwel Mallia, Carmelo Abela and Michael Farrugia; thanks rather to Joseph Muscat and Keith Schembri, Malta’s only law enforcement agency and in practice the prosecutor of people charged with crimes is being consumed in flames of ignominy. It’s commonplace to remember there are some perfectly diligent, [...]

GUEST POST: The firing gun

2020-02-15T21:19:48+01:00Sat, 15th Feb '20, 15:03|

March 2013 marked the dawn of a new era under the leadership of Kink Joseph Muscat. One of his first loaded gestures was that of paying himself for the use of his own car. It signalled that stealing from taxpayers was fair game. In the best of leadership traditions, Joseph signalled that if you were [...]

The method of isolation

2020-02-14T17:32:37+01:00Fri, 14th Feb '20, 14:26|

There is no satisfaction in hearing Yorgen Fenech on tape reassuring himself that only a few thousand “iddisprati” felt anything about the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia. “Iddisprati” and variations on the theme like “indannati”, “imdejjqin”, “iffissati” (usually preceded by that proverbial Maltese number that amounts to irrelevance “erba’ iddisprati, erba’ indannati,” and so on) [...]

Pay more. Get less.

2020-02-13T10:23:14+01:00Thu, 13th Feb '20, 10:23|

There is something surreal about The Times of Malta’s interview of this morning with Armin Ernst who runs the three formerly publicly owned hospitals that now belong to American subsidiary Steward Health Care. The newspaper says he was reacting to a Malta Today report that reported that Steward’s predecessors Vitals Global Healthcare had massed debts [...]