The Times reports police are sitting on incriminating evidence of serious fraud committed by the Education Minister’s former canvasser.
If any of these episodes go unobserved, unremarked and unopposed they become the new normal. We will get desensitised and worse will be allowed. We can no longer rely on the parliamentary opposition to bring these crimes, of action or of omission, to our attention. A “positive” wave seems to have taken them over which means they now fly in from Munich waving pieces of paper and proclaiming peace in our time.
All we have left is people like Ivan Camilleri, at The Times, to keep up the pressure with stories in the independent press, holding power to account at least on the infractions the press become aware of.
The story of the manager of the government agency responsible for building schools, soliciting and taking bribes from contractors and laundering the kickbacks he collects in property is disquieting on its own. The fact that a year after witnesses made statements, some of the publicly, with damning evidence of his crimes, the police have made no move to arrest him and to ask the courts to block his ill-gotten gains until he is tried, is appalling.
But the real scandal here is the gentleman concerned is a political canvasser of Evarist Bartolo. Witnesses, including an appointee of Evarist Bartolo to a position of political trust, have publicly testified Evarist Bartolo was aware of his canvasser’s crimes and covered them up for months.
Consider how hard Labour tried, and failed, to connect George Farrugia, the witness in the allegation on Enemalta oil procurement, to Austin Gatt. And contrast that with the intimate connection between this Edward Caruana and his political boss Evarist Bartolo and how the latter used his political power and authority to protect his corrupt political ward.
Allowing this to happen is a collective act of community complicity. This is what the Chief Justice spoke about two weeks ago at the yearly opening of the court year. The fact that known criminals are not booked and arraigned in front of the courts is an injustice perpetrated on every single law-abiding citizen of this country.
But it is not just the bribed political canvasser and money launderer who is being protected by a corrupt police force here. It is Evarist Bartolo, and by extension Joseph Muscat, who are protected from direct political responsibility for the institutionalisation of corruption and in Evarist Bartolo’s case for allegedly covering up crimes he was aware of.
Any self-respecting and reasonably autonomous law enforcement agency would right now be closing immunity deals with witnesses who can attest in court to this political cover-up and ensuring that the responsible politicians are impeached and every proven crime is punished with the full force of the law.
The fact this is not happening is not normal. It cannot be accepted. Anyone with some respect for this country must negate any acceptance of this behaviour.