Konrad Mizzi thinks his human rights are breached. Now we’ll get the usual non sequitur that he too is a citizen and has as much right to resort to the courts as anyone else. That was his line and the line of his Panama gang colleagues when they appealed a lower court decision to start an investigation into their crimes.
Of course, what we really have here is making a mockery of the notion of human rights because they need to cheapen them and ridicule them even at the conceptual level as they breach them as a matter of policy and habit.
Konrad Mizzi is a government Minister. He enjoys effective impunity by virtue of his political impermeability.
He enjoys hysterical support in his constituency in this country where a corrupt politician is a popular politician. His re-election to Parliament for as long as he gets caught in corrupt activity and gets away with it is effectively assured.
He enjoys protection in his office. Other Ministers have been fired over much less — Manwel Mallia, Godfrey Farrugia and so on. But the Panama scandal, the Vitals scandal, the 17 Black scandal: nothing will have Joseph Muscat withdraw his protection of him. His seat in power is safe.
He enjoys effective impunity because the police will not touch him. Commissioners of Police have sat on FIAU reports into his crimes. One resigned and cut short his lifetime career of fighting crime just to avoid calling in Konrad Mizzi for questioning. That Commissioner’s replacement was chosen precisely because he can be trusted never to take his eyes off Joseph Muscat’s testicles which he declaredly admires so much.
Konrad Mizzi is the law. Konrad Mizzi is above the law. Along with Joseph Muscat, Keith Schembri and to a lesser extent others around them they are one and indivisible from the State. They are above any institution, any authority, anyone who could ever stop them.
Because ultimately as two retired Chief Justices reminded us no Courts can act on anyone who is not arraigned in front of them by the Police and a Magisterial inquiry is no replacement for the failure of law enforcement.
Let’s park all that for a moment.
What are human rights? Why do we have them in our laws? Human rights are the last safety net of protection for citizens without access to the formal powers of the State to ensure their very basic dignities are not crushed by the actions of that State.
So you may be poor, you may be without access to money or power or even knowledge, you may be the least influential person in the entire nation: there are very basic things no government can do to you. They cannot kill you. They cannot take away your property without compensating you for it. They cannot stop you from speaking your mind. They cannot punish you for something they said you did without proving it and without giving you a chance to give your side of the story.
You see the dynamics here? Human rights in our laws are intended to protect those without State power from those that have it.
Now, of course, we don’t have an eligibility examination for anyone to go to Court and claim their human rights have been breached. That’s how Konrad Mizzi gets in.
I’m not going deep into the merits of what he claims not that I don’t have a view on those but perhaps that’s for another time.
But of course, the issue here is that a government Minister in office whose power, for reasons listed above, are even greater than the powers normally attributed to a Minister, is exercising a right intended for people who have nothing like his power.
Let me reduce this to absurdity, and of course, that is not difficult at all. Everyone has a right to education. Fine. So I, all of 42 years of age, show up at the local government primary school insisting I’m given a seat with the 5-year-olds because “it’s my right”.
Konrad Mizzi argues Simon Busuttil’s court complaint is intended to tarnish his reputation. Now at the time, Simon Busuttil went to court, Konrad Mizzi’s reputation was shit. The Panama Papers had put paid to that. Simon Busuttil was watching like the rest of us when Konrad Mizzi’s vaguely stupid mug showed up on the Panama Papers hit list of brown and grey crooks who hid money they never should have had in Panama. He was the only EU Minister in that row of crooked ducks.
Before that, he was just a clown. Then he became a criminal clown. There was nothing Simon Busuttil could do to make that any worse than it was.
But a human rights case cannot be filed against another individual. If Konrad Mizzi is aggrieved by something Simon Busuttil did to him he can sue Simon Busuttil.
But Konrad Mizzi sued the government of which he is a Minister — I kid you not — because he says it’s taking too long for the Courts to decide about the case. Of course, the Court decided he should be investigated for crimes months and months ago. It is his decision to appeal that and his conscious effort to make sure he appeals that in front of a judge married to one of his Labour Party colleagues in the European Parliament that blocked all this.
Konrad Mizzi knows all this of course. He’s not actually looking to protect any rights he might believe he has. Nor of course, is he seriously looking to protect his reputation.
He wants to push as far away as possible the implementation of a decision that has already been taken by a Court and is now subject to his appeal: that the police must look into what the Panama Papers revealed about him.
Now here’s something funny for you. Earlier I wrote about the perverse role of the Attorney General and how the Venice Commission found this to be problematic.
Look at the case name of this lawsuit Konrad Mizzi filed: Konrad Mizzi vs Attorney General.
He is suing the Attorney General because the Attorney General is the lawyer for the Republic of Malta and by extension of its government of which Konrad Mizzi is a Minister.
This government has not only found the esoteric secrets of self-penetration. It actually manages to rape itself.
What’s Konrad Mizzi here, the government or its victim? What’s the Attorney General here, the attorney to the defendant or the attorney to the plaintiff?
The Venice Commission calls it “problematic”.
This is ridiculous. And it is ridiculous by design. It is intended to cheapen the notion of human rights. It is a perversion of justice.
It’s just so your rights can be ridiculed to the point they are made useless and Konrad Mizzi can remain safe in his immunity, high-fiving Keith Schembri while the country is spit roast between them.