G Farrugia Calleja: Slap down SLAPPs

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2018-01-31T21:19:22+00:00Wed, 31st Jan '18, 21:13|

By George Farrugia Calleja So it seems that the squeaky clean (bite me) gentlemen behind Pilatus Bank, perceived by so many as ‘The Gang’s personal money box and laundromat, had filed suit against Daphne Caruana Galizia in some God-forsaken legal backwater in America. Friends of mine who practise law (they’ll get it right with enough [...]

The Chilling Effect

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2018-01-31T17:47:23+00:00Wed, 31st Jan '18, 14:16|

Malta Today carried today details of the law suit Pilatus Bank filed against Daphne Caruana Galizia in the thick of the 2017 campaign only to withdraw it within a few hours of her death. On their online version they publish the fully copy of the law suit itself. I was trying to get hold of [...]

The crooks of Europe

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2018-01-31T11:57:59+00:00Wed, 31st Jan '18, 11:57|

Here's a glimpse of how the world sees us. This honourable mention is from Episode 1 of the Netflix series 'Dirty Money'. There's no audio on the tape but you can read the subtitles. Then you can use your Netflix subscription to see the whole thing. https://youtu.be/_LTmF86UEmc

Maltese people the USA is considering for sanctions

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2018-01-30T16:25:43+00:00Tue, 30th Jan '18, 16:25|

Lovin' Malta spots three Maltese citizens on a US Treasury list of Putinite oligarchs. They are Russian born. Their business interests are in Russia. To all intends and purposes the adjective Russian would not be inaccurate to describe them. But Arkady Volozh, Boris Mints, Alexander Natanovich Nesis are Maltese. Read some background about them on Tim [...]

MAM doctors take care of your health

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2018-01-30T09:53:44+00:00Tue, 30th Jan '18, 09:53|

The doctors’ union’s decision to take some form of action in protest at the transfer of three of our hospitals to an American for-profit business we do not know, is as justified as they come. Obviously they will get more than their fair share of venom from the Labour controlled media and from a big [...]

Illogical neutrality

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2018-01-29T23:15:47+00:00Mon, 29th Jan '18, 23:15|

Logic is truly optional in the running of this country. Jose’ Herrera thinks he’s being nice and caring when he says his office is paying some spare cash for the good of the Majjistral Park so NGOs who run it can stop moaning about extended hunting hours in the reserve that is supposed to protect [...]

The discouraging investment argument

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2018-01-29T17:31:57+00:00Mon, 29th Jan '18, 17:31|

For a so called democracy we sure have plenty of sacred cows we are warned not to step on. Today we're reminded of that cow named "discouraging investment". This is the mortal sin the opposition was accused of today for daring to remind the government that Vitals Health Group had made a pile of commitments [...]

Time for another quick coffee at the Betsson canteen

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2018-01-29T16:23:54+00:00Mon, 29th Jan '18, 16:23|

It was only the third day in the life of this blog. The prime minister, newly confirmed after the July election, had not yet even formed a Cabinet. He rushed to Ta' Xbiex in a publicity stunt aimed at stunting the PN's pre-electoral argument that his re-election was a threat to the financial services and [...]

Silvio Valletta agrees he’s a Politically Exposed Person investigating Politically Exposed Persons

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2018-01-29T11:07:29+00:00Mon, 29th Jan '18, 11:07|

Deputy Police Commissioner Silvio Valletta in court today confirmed the investigations into the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia are still underway. He agreed with lawyer Jason Azzopardi, appearing for the Caruana Galizia family, that the three persons accused of homicide are the executors of the crime but the search for those who commissioned it is [...]

Uncomfortably numb

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2018-01-28T12:17:56+00:00Sun, 28th Jan '18, 12:17|

I walked down through the crowd at the feast of St Paul yesterday in Valletta. I struck up a few conversations. As conversations in festas go, none of them where about pauline theology. We talked politics and the current state of play. And the hopeless state of the PN right now when it should be [...]

Trusting the Force

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2018-01-27T21:13:07+00:00Sat, 27th Jan '18, 21:13|

Not a Jedi moment. The episode this week of a police officer caught smuggling people in breach of border rules at the airport is an inevitable warning. It is also an inevitable consequence. The government's decision to engage, promote and re-instate people with criminal records in the police force was never a good idea. There [...]

Strasbourg journalists protection platform lists Cyprus arrest warrant on Pilatus whistleblower as threat to media freedom

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2018-01-27T16:11:25+00:00Sat, 27th Jan '18, 16:11|

The Council of Europe's platform for the protection of journalists and media freedom raised an alert of a "state act having chilling affects on media freedom" after Cyprus issues an arrest warrant on Maria Efimova after a complaint from a former employer. An alert on the Council of Europe's platforms is raised when a partner [...]

Pilatus filed lawsuit in the USA against Daphne Caruana Galizia. She never knew.

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2018-01-27T09:05:03+00:00Fri, 26th Jan '18, 22:38|

Pilatus Bank threatened The Malta Independent, Malta Today and The Times with prohibitive SLAPP law-suits filed in the United States the publications would not even afford to respond to. Appearing in your own defense and engaging lawyers in the United States is more than any news organisation in Malta could afford. Under that pressure, all [...]

Fl-aqwa żmien, a 7 year old girl starved to death

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2018-01-26T19:06:42+00:00Fri, 26th Jan '18, 19:06|

The gut reaction would be "not to politicise a tragedy". The government reminds everyone that it is undignified to exploit the death of someone and the terrible tragedy that struck a family to score political points. And the rest of us murmur agreement that these things cannot be helped and it is unseemly to blame [...]

Owen’s real picture of Malta

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2018-01-25T22:30:45+00:00Thu, 25th Jan '18, 22:22|

After Etienne Grech's toe-curling performance at the Council of Europe, Malta's government deployed Owen Bonnici as its champion at the European Parliament's committee meeting reviewing the rule of law report the EP delegates prepared. As the diva would say, she can sing it beautifully but if the song is bad no one will like it [...]

More Buttardi oddities

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2018-01-24T23:08:51+00:00Wed, 24th Jan '18, 22:39|

Yesterday I reported how an online business that appears to be dormant, www.buttardi.com, is reported on Zoominfo to generate revenues of 2.4 million US dollars. This would be suspicious for any tax authority in any case, but is especially problematic since Buttardi clearly belongs, at least in part, to Michelle Muscat, the prime minister's wife, [...]