Maria Efimova tells PM: “I stand by what I witnessed”

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2019-01-31T16:35:10+01:00Thu, 31st Jan '19, 16:25|

Maria Efimova, who testified at the Egrant inquiry which the Prime Minister says exonerates him of the accusation of bribery and money laundering, reacting today to Joseph Muscat's statement in court. Well, don't want to sound heroic, but I will stand by what I've witnessed even if all the others withdraw. https://t.co/ZZa4I3IiDD— Maria Efimova (@MariaEfimova7) [...]

The sins of our elders

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2019-02-01T09:53:22+01:00Thu, 31st Jan '19, 13:25|

Joseph Muscat put journalism on trial today. And found it guilty. Read first what happened in the court room this morning. Get the detail from the court reports but in brief Joseph Muscat was testifying in the case he brought against Daphne Caruana Galizia accusing her of defamation when she reported his wife, and therefore [...]

Layers of revenge

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2019-01-30T18:00:09+01:00Wed, 30th Jan '19, 17:58|

You take a step back for a minute and what is at first inexplicable, starts making sense. Anton Refalo is accused of beating his son. Again I will not go into the reasons why the circumstances  might explain his behaviour. In every situation there may or may not be extenuating circumstances but I have no [...]

Strasbourg court orders Italy to provide food, medicine and legal aid to migrants trapped aboard SeaWatch

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2019-01-30T18:02:48+01:00Wed, 30th Jan '19, 17:17|

The European Court of Human Rights ordered today the Italian government to “to take all necessary measures, as soon as possible, to provide (Sea Watch 3 migrants trapped outside Syracuse) adequate medical care, food, water and basic supplies". The Court also ordered Italy to give 15 unaccompanied minors aboard the Sea Watch "adequate legal assistance [...]

It’s not today. But that day will come.

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2019-01-29T17:29:14+01:00Tue, 29th Jan '19, 17:29|

If you thought that asking for justice was the way you would get it, then you haven’t been paying attention. Simon Busuttil is achieving one thing, if nothing else: he is exhausting all possible avenues in the pursuit of the application of the principle that justice is equal for all and that when someone in [...]

Huawei: Criminal charges filed in the USA; Malta remains silent

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2019-01-29T10:32:15+01:00Tue, 29th Jan '19, 10:32|

The United States has filed criminal charges against Huawei. One of two cases concerns bank fraud and dodging American sanctions against Iran. According to the indictment, the deception goes back to mid-2007, when Huawei's founder, Ren Zhengfei, falsely told the FBI that the company did not violate any US export laws, and that it had [...]

Add this to the case for an independent inquiry

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2019-01-29T09:33:45+01:00Tue, 29th Jan '19, 09:33|

The former policeman who in 2016 was witness for the prosecution in the trial of David Gatt for the 2011 HSBC Bank heist, was committed yesterday to Mount Carmel Mental Hospital.  On Saturday he posted a Facebook post in which he accused David Gatt and his former law office partner Chris Cardona of masterminding the [...]

Who’s running then?

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2019-01-28T20:34:21+01:00Mon, 28th Jan '19, 20:34|

The Broadcasting Authority said today candidates for the European Parliament will be allowed in February to advertise their events on radio. That would be a trial but “if the scheme works well, with everyone’s cooperation, there is a greater possibility that it would be renewed for the following months”. It’s an odd scheme since MEP [...]

Ministerial crime

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2019-01-28T12:28:50+01:00Mon, 28th Jan '19, 12:26|

Granted that a maxim for democratic life is ‘the majority gets to decide’. You need to finish that sentence. The majority gets to decide who governs the country, but it cannot alter other maxims for democratic life, such as ‘the law is equal for everyone’. If it did, all we’re left with would be a [...]

Secretiveness is a problem

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2019-01-28T09:50:14+01:00Mon, 28th Jan '19, 09:48|

For the first time ‘sources’ in the investigation of Satabank have actually said something about what they found and why the freezing of the bank’s transaction was justified. The sources say it’s bad. Very, very bad. Satabank handled transactions worth billions of euro that are “suspicious”. That’s bureaucrat-speak for ‘we know it’s criminal money but [...]

Remember to forget

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2019-01-28T08:50:31+01:00Mon, 28th Jan '19, 08:47|

Yesterday marked Holocaust Memorial Day. There were many articles worth reading marking the event. I was especially struck by this one on The New York Times. It tells the story of Aristides de Sousa Mendes, a Portuguese diplomat who defied his government’s orders and issued visas to Jews escaping discriminatory laws and the violence that [...]

Repubblika formally set-up

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2019-01-26T13:38:47+01:00Sat, 26th Jan '19, 13:38|

Statement by Repubblika: Forty people from all walks of life in Malta yesterday night formally set up ‘Repubblika’, a non-governmental organisation that wants to promote democracy and the rule of law in Malta. At yesterday’s Floriana meeting, Repubblika’s founding members approved the organisation’s statute that is now published on Repubblika’s electronic page at www.facebook.com/Repubblika. Members approved the [...]

Guest Post: Is Malta a failing democracy? (Part 3)

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2019-01-26T08:57:36+01:00Sat, 26th Jan '19, 08:10|

This is the concluding part of a series that started two days ago. In recent years, Malta has been basking in an economic growth that rivals many bigger European countries. However accusations of widespread corruption, a murdered journalist and criticism by EU institutions has cast a shadow on Malta’s glow. The European Parliament raised serious concerns about democracy and the rule of law in Malta in 2017 [...]

Choosing Malta

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2019-01-25T12:28:41+01:00Fri, 25th Jan '19, 12:28|

The report on Times of Malta about the increasing unhappiness of expatriates living in Malta confirms anecdotal evidence and the direct experience of many people. Some would say that speaking to people who have been bitten by Satabank might give you a skewed picture. But that incident — still ongoing — is representative of a [...]

Shall we talk about human rights?

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2019-01-25T10:58:52+01:00Fri, 25th Jan '19, 10:58|

Seen on Facebook It’s not that Recep Erdogan is going to change his ways if Marie Louise Coleiro Preca tells him to. And it’s not like expecting her to tell Recep Erdogan that Malta stands for human rights, free expression and the rule of law is a realistic prospect in this universe. After all she [...]

Anonymous fascist tells PN Councillors party ‘crocodiles’ should be tried and “handed over to members for disposal”

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2019-01-25T10:11:19+01:00Fri, 25th Jan '19, 10:10|

Several PN Councillors have received in their postal mailbox a letter signed cryptically by someone describing himself as “Chairman, Djalogu għas-Sewwa” calling for support to party leader Adrian Delia and the “disposal” of “insubordinate crocodiles”. The letter is the last in a series that have been dispatched by conventional mail to Party Councillors bearing the [...]

MEPs ask EU Commission whether Venice Commission report should start rule of law process on Malta

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2019-01-25T08:50:36+01:00Fri, 25th Jan '19, 08:50|

Three Members of the European Parliament have tabled a question to the European Commission asking whether after reading the Venice Commission’s report on Malta they now are willing to “engage in a constructive dialogue under the rule of law framework”. That’s euro-speak for effective pressure on Malta to undergo reforms or face political consequences. The [...]

Guest Post: Is Malta a failing democracy? (Part 2)

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2019-02-02T10:31:05+01:00Fri, 25th Jan '19, 07:52|

Part 1 of this series was posted yesterday. In recent years Malta has been rocked with a number of revelations of widespread corruption, erosion of free speech, and degradation of rule of law which tarnished its presidency of the European Union. Malta’s Prime Minister Muscat has brushed of these accusations as ”a coordinated attack on Malta by jealous countries”, but in reality, [...]