LONG READ: The SOFA situation

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2020-09-30T16:15:13+02:00Wed, 30th Sep '20, 16:15|

The SOFA (state of forces agreement) situation requires some analysis. First, what is it? Until the government publishes a document signed with the United States and then presents it to parliament for ratification, we cannot be entirely sure. At this point we can judge by what we know the United States has asked from Malta [...]

GUEST POST: Collusion

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2020-09-30T09:26:15+02:00Wed, 30th Sep '20, 09:26|

col·​lu·​sion | \ kə-ˈlü-zhən \ Definition of collusion: secret agreement or cooperation especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose acting in collusion with the enemy. The collusion between criminal and crooked mafiosi politicians with high police officers is now well known to one and all. The testimonies coming out of the Daphne Caruana Galizia inquiry and the compilation of evidence against Yorgen [...]

GUEST POST: An uncomfortable SOFA

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2020-09-30T09:00:26+02:00Wed, 30th Sep '20, 09:00|

Full disclosure. I am a retired Armed Forces of Malta officer who trained and worked with the Italian, French, German, U.K. and U.S. armed forces among others throughout my career. I think that the neutrality ‘enshrined’ in Malta’s constitution is a sham, an accident of history rather than a calculated strategic posture. Before becoming neutral, [...]

The royal republic

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2020-09-28T18:00:08+02:00Mon, 28th Sep '20, 18:00|

Daphne Caruana Galizia used to be resigned she’d be accused of having unleashed yet another attakk faħxi u moqżież fuq it-tfal tal-prim ministru Joseph Muscat. I write this with more than a little expectation of something of the sort. Robert Abela’s daughter’s first day of school has been paraded as some sort of PR exercise [...]

One flies over

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2020-09-28T14:05:13+02:00Mon, 28th Sep '20, 14:05|

I won’t go into unnecessary details here because relatives and friends have suffered enough and because without appreciation of the specific circumstances of the story, one risks reaching uninformed conclusions. But I’m aware of reports of a former prison inmate who lost his life to a drug overdose this week, soon after his release from [...]

GUEST POST: What time and price for justice?

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2020-09-28T12:58:21+02:00Mon, 28th Sep '20, 12:58|

Robert Abela, our prime minister, successor of the most corrupt political person in the world, has put an ultimatum for the shutting down of the Daphne Caruana Galizia public inquiry. The inquiry into the assassination of the journalist will be extended only one time until the 15th December, says Robert Abela. The prime minister said: [...]

GUEST POST: While Castille burns

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2020-09-28T12:34:38+02:00Mon, 28th Sep '20, 12:34|

While Castille is on fire, the ill-defined civil protection defences of a free and autonomous people keep marking time. Paulo Coelho’s famous warrior of light believes the path is treacherous. Imponderables discourage the formation of alliances. Pride, mistrust, arrogance and an absence of credible leadership of opposition clusters have over time become the party in [...]

Leverage

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2020-09-28T08:17:37+02:00Mon, 28th Sep '20, 08:17|

Malta Today reported yesterday that the US defence secretary is visiting Malta to push for a ‘status of forces agreement’, known as SOFA, with the Maltese government. This has come up in the past. The United States gets squeamish at the sight of any of its uniformed officers in the dock of the justice system [...]

Wrong excuse, Robobob

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2020-09-27T08:16:41+02:00Sun, 27th Sep '20, 08:14|

Robert Abela didn’t appreciate Jacob Borg asking him questions about Joseph Muscat. His first answer was that there should be no further consequences to revelations about his conduct as prime minister. He’s already resigned, so he “paid the price” for whatever. It’s funny how people in high office are tempted to think their jobs belong [...]

THE SUNDAY TIMES: Losing a generation

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2020-09-27T07:36:27+02:00Sun, 27th Sep '20, 07:33|

  From my article in The Sunday Times today: "Where I live, I have noticed children working on farms helping their parents during school hours like this was 1920. I am aware of children living in families that may afford a computer but it’s mostly used by parents for Facebook scrolling. There is no doubt [...]

Dutch TV report on Malta passport trade wins top journalism award

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2020-09-27T07:08:41+02:00Sun, 27th Sep '20, 07:08|

Dutch TV journalist Siebe Sietsma and editor Luuk Mulder this weekend won the Netherlands’ top award for investigative journalism for an investigation into the sale of Maltese passports. The Loep is the most prestigious award given to investigative journalists in the Netherlands. Het onderzoek van Nieuwsuur naar de paspoorthandel vanuit Malta heeft vandaag een Loep [...]

Ronchi remembers Daphne with street art

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2020-09-27T06:57:23+02:00Sun, 27th Sep '20, 06:56|

At the yearly journalism festival, the town of Ronchi dei Legionari remembered Daphne Caruana Galizia with a portrait composed of photos of journalists who like her were killed in the line of duty. In a Facebook post, Fabian Pacella, who last night was awarded a yearly prize for courage in journalism by the press freedom [...]

Apulian journalist is third winner of Daphne Caruana Galizia award

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2020-09-27T06:50:03+02:00Sun, 27th Sep '20, 06:50|

The Italian press freedom organisation Leali delle Notizie has awarded the third Daphne Caruana Galizia memorial award to Fabiana Pacella, a journalist from Apulia who has worked for 20 years on investigations into the Sacra Corona Unita, the local mafia organisation that has infiltrated local politics and business. Fabiana Pacella, who works as a freelance [...]

Panic button

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2020-09-25T15:37:11+02:00Fri, 25th Sep '20, 15:37|

Joseph Muscat let rip into US-based financial crime blogger Kenneth Rijock today calling him a “fraudster” after the American was a bit more specific on the cross-border investigations he had been saying were being conducted into the former prime minister’s affairs. Kenneth Rijock reported the Italians were investigating Joseph Muscat. Joseph Muscat said they weren’t. [...]

WATCH: MSNBC Enemy of the State

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2020-09-23T20:02:44+02:00Wed, 23rd Sep '20, 20:02|

It has been my privilege to help tell the story of what happened here in Malta when Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed and all that happened since then, a number of times. I met some great journalists it was an honour just being close to, let alone to have answers to their questions. Richard Engel [...]

The Gasans need to do more than just quit the crime scene

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2020-09-23T17:39:12+02:00Wed, 23rd Sep '20, 15:21|

After all that’s been said and done, the statement by the Gasan family today (scroll down for a full copy) feigns surprise at the corruption behind the Electrogas contract and the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia that sought to cover that corruption up. Some choice quotes from their statement: “We declare that if there is [...]

Spare a thought for Neville Gafà

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2020-09-22T16:45:51+02:00Tue, 22nd Sep '20, 13:46|

Our knight in shining armour, the muslim ronin, defender of our shores, guarantor of fitting spectacles, missionary for guerrilla warlords and hero for our time will not be able to meet Keith Schembri to discuss football for a while. It must be so hard to be a mid-level schoolyard bully finding oneself abandoned by all [...]

GUEST POST: Tangled priorities

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2020-09-22T09:29:10+02:00Tue, 22nd Sep '20, 09:29|

Last November, the Times of London published an article headed “The Island of Corruption” and alleged that Malta is “riddled with corruption and organised crime”. A study by Luca Ranieri of the Department of Law and Politics of Sant’Anna School in Pisa describes Malta as “a corrupting island in a corrupting sea.” He insists that [...]