Will Keith Schembri ignore the European Parliament again?

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2017-11-27T14:39:03+00:00Mon, 27th Nov '17, 14:39|

Keith Schembri should accept the invitation of the European Parliament’s delegation coming to Malta this week to answer their questions on what he knows about corruption and money laundering. He has already twice dodged the PANA committee on two visits, causing embarrassment to the his boss the prime minister, the government he leads, the party [...]

G Leone Ganado: The Egrant questions

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2017-11-27T08:58:07+00:00Mon, 27th Nov '17, 08:58|

By Godfrey Leone Ganado, who here reminds us of the many outstanding questions on the third Panama company and asks some new ones. The two declarations of trust dated 20 August 2015, which were in the kitchen-safe at Pilatus Bank as alleged by whistle-blower Maria Efimova, are both allegedly held by the subscribers to the [...]

LISTEN: The Ferris Tapes (Part 1) (updated with transcript)

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2017-11-27T09:58:00+00:00Sun, 26th Nov '17, 21:33|

I interviewed Jonathan Ferris about his experience investigating corruption and money laundering at the Police and the FIAU from which he was summarily dismissed. In this first part of the interview, Jonathan Ferris speaks of direct Ministerial interference in police investigations and of resource starvation for investigations into crimes committed by high profile people in [...]

More Mossack Fonseca files passing to the Malta police: we should have an independent inquiry

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2017-11-26T20:48:04+00:00Sun, 26th Nov '17, 19:54|

Sueddeutsche Zeitung reports the German federal procesutor is passing to the Malta police all information connected to Malta in some 3 terabytes of data from Mossack Fonseca servers purchased from an unknown source and leaked separately earlier in 2017, over a year after the ICIJ leaked the Panama Papers. The Munich prosecutor spent 2 million [...]

Tendering for government work is beneath the dignity of Labour Party officials

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2017-11-26T19:04:35+00:00Sun, 26th Nov '17, 19:04|

William Lewis, Segretarju Organizzattiv of the Labour Party, and recently commissioned by direct order for government works in Birżebbuġa is a veteran beneficiary of architectural engagements of government work without the bother of a competitive process to allow others better than him at the job a chance to make an offer. The quality of his [...]

THE SUNDAY TIMES: Clean hands

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2017-11-26T09:31:05+00:00Sun, 26th Nov '17, 09:31|

From my The Sunday Times article today: "As with the counter-intuitive Brexit vote, the institutional collapse in Kenya, the breakdown of the Opposition in Grenada and other micro-States, explanations of the political realities of Malta on the back of conventional voting behaviour analyses are becoming insufficient. Nothing is what it seems when the real decisions [...]

The message the bombers sent

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2017-11-25T21:56:07+00:00Sat, 25th Nov '17, 21:56|

Interviews carried today by London's The Times with Jonathan Ferris and Maria Efimova show just how whistle-blowers are made to feel by the government of this country. It is clear that the intimidation campaign against journalists in Malta, culminating in the explosive annihilation of Daphne Caruana Galizia, were addressed to sources who provide information to [...]

Disgraced former US immigration officer endorses sale of Malta’s passports

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2017-11-25T22:31:39+00:00Sat, 25th Nov '17, 21:26|

Malta Today carried an endorsement of Malta’s passport scheme from a Peter Vincent, introduced to the reader as a lawyer at Thomson Reuters. With that brand name he is introduced as a respectable authority whose endorsement is clearly intended to improve the credibility of the due diligence process conducted by Identity Malta to vet people [...]

The government wants you to think the smuggler did it

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2017-11-25T09:43:42+00:00Sat, 25th Nov '17, 09:43|

In spite of all the talk of leaving the investigations to run their course before pronouncing judgement, the government has had a theory about who killed Daphne Caruana Galizia and it has been briefing the international press on that theory with a nudge and a wink couching a cover-up as a genuine tip-off. But a [...]

Self-entrapment

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2017-11-24T19:24:48+00:00Fri, 24th Nov '17, 19:24|

The Nationalist opposition continues to bleed from wounds of its own making. Adrian Delia’s arguments in Parliament, defending a motion his party proposed to re-introduce dscimination in working conditions for people resorting to IVF treatments not permitted in Malta, were shallow and unconvincing. He argued the motion was making a “legal” point, not a “moral” [...]

Keeping it in the house

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2017-11-24T20:08:26+00:00Fri, 24th Nov '17, 18:40|

The Government Gazette is not designed to make fascinating reading. That's no reason to miss it. Here's a seemingly innocuous notice in the gazette today that William Lewis was given a direct order for 12,000 euro. It's not going to be enough for him to retire on. But why was he given the purely technical [...]

The march on University

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2017-11-24T16:17:24+00:00Fri, 24th Nov '17, 16:15|

The government is sending chilling signals to the academic community in Malta. It is not to be taken as a given that government actually intends to go ahead with its proposal of reducing the rector of the university to a clerk by invitation of a committee directly set up by government. There is a pattern [...]

Why the mafia prospers here

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2017-11-24T15:24:44+00:00Fri, 24th Nov '17, 15:24|

Revel Barker's piece yesterday on The Times spoke of the reaction in Gozo to Totò Riina's death in prison. It delved deeper in the psyche of a community that hosted him and welcomed him for the money he spent even as he was the capi di tutti i capi of one of the most violent [...]

GUEST POST: Keyboard warriors

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2017-11-23T08:45:02+00:00Thu, 23rd Nov '17, 08:45|

By Erika Bajada In April 2017, a conference titled "Counter-narratives: how to support civil society in delivering effective positive narratives against hate speech online" was hosted by the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The conference focused on the increase of xenophobic and racist attitudes observed on the internet. The Minister for [...]

Vive l’Empereur!

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2017-11-23T08:40:13+00:00Thu, 23rd Nov '17, 08:40|

We know we have a prime minister with an irrepressible sense of his own self when he gets to choose the playlist for the national orchestra. I am going to leave that there to hang for a pregnant, ironic, repressed, giggly, eye-rolling minute. Ara veru 'Ma tagħmlu xejn mal-perit Joseph'! In case you're one of [...]

G Farrugia Calleja: Bumbling idiots

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2017-11-23T08:22:33+00:00Thu, 23rd Nov '17, 08:22|

By George Farrugia Calleja: Obviously, any couple that wants a baby should be helped to achieve their aim, and the state is there for just that purpose. Out-dated notions of morality propagated by men in skirts and their acolytes (and yes, I’m being offensive on purpose, for effect) have no place in the debate: unless [...]

Prime ministerial product placement

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2017-11-22T19:10:29+00:00Wed, 22nd Nov '17, 19:10|

It's now been going on since 2013. Daphne Caruana Galizia had first spotted it in the Presidential fun run of 2013 after the important of The North Face brand advertised the fact they were 'advising' Michelle Muscat on sportswear. At the presidential fun run of this year Joseph Muscat again dodged the charity t-shirt and [...]

Caruana Galizia family report Prime Minister’s staffer for stalking Daphne the day before she was killed

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2017-11-22T17:08:40+00:00Wed, 22nd Nov '17, 14:04|

Daphne Caruana Galizia's husband and three sons have filed a police report accusing Neville Gafà of stalking their mother the day before she was assassinated in a car explosion. In a formal criminal complaint (known as kwerela), the Caruana Galizia family reported how on 15 October 2017 between 1pm and 4pm, Neville Gafa and or [...]