If any more evidence was needed of the manipulation from Joseph Muscat’s office of the institutions of the state, the happenings in court over the last few days continue to shed light on the complete usurpation of power by the Panama Gang.
For years their influence on the police commissioner and the attorney general held back prosecution of crimes “alleged to have been” committed by people connected very closely to Labour’s political network. Now that seems to be changing.
Earlier this week Edward Caruana was arraigned accused of collecting tangenti. For years he was protected by his connection with Evarist Bartolo.
Today John Dalli’s daughters, Louise Dalli and Claire Gauci Borda, have been charged in court on the back of a charge sheets drafted by the police over a year ago and left to gather dust till now, when they are deemed useful to the regime.
John Dalli himself, as well as other B-listers like Neville Gafa’ and Jimmy Magro, must be quaking in their boots right now.
Joseph Muscat has been under unbelievably intense pressure these last two weeks from people who held him in high regard and how are no challenging him for presiding over a mafia republic of impunity.
Joseph Muscat is seeing the contacts he nurtured over many years with people who promised to back him to a senior EU post turn their back on him and desert him.
He is under urgent pressure to cover up years of manipulation of the workings of justice.
He is also under pressure to deflect attention from the real story here: the conspiracy of the Panama Gang right at the summit of power.
He is feeding us political canvassers who “allegedly” charged tangenti and daughters of a disgraced EU Commissioner who “allegedly” defrauded vulnerable Americans who thought they were paying into a charity.
More importantly he is feeding the hungry international press his erstwhile allies in Brussels habitually read, the John Dalli connection. Given the way John Dalli was kicked out of the EU Commission satisfies the interest of a story of international magnitude.
But as we’re busy with these stories we are meant to lighten the heat on the story of how his Chief of Staff, his puppet Minister and his accountant, all sitting across from each other on desks outside his room, set up secret companies in Panama within 72 hours of their election to power and proceeded to negotiate behind closed doors secret deals with the Azerbaijani regime.
Of how they licensed an Iranian 33-year old with no banking experience to handle the accounts of the Azeri dictator’s family to launder their money. Of how an eye-witness revealed six-figure payments from the Ilham Aliyev family to the Joseph Muscat family. Of how the eye-witness was chased out of the country and the journalist she spoke to ended up incinerated in a car bomb.
Joseph Muscat is now keen to appear like he presides on a country where the police act on political crime. Because now, at the end of all things, he throws his own allies as fodder to the people’s anger.
He looks smug and cool. He looks like he’s brushing off civil society and protesters. He looks like he thinks the parliamentary opposition in front of him is dirt he can piss on.
But it really is getting serious for him now. And the fluttering action in court these last few days are signs of real and proper panic.
What the rest of us cannot do now is let even this blinding light, this relief at action long overdue and long demanded, deflect us from the real issue at hand.
That what the country deserves is justice. And there is no justice without change.