Didn’t the government say they were consulting the Council of Europe about the Daphne inquiry?

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2019-09-30T16:34:28+02:00Mon, 30th Sep '19, 16:34|

Were they consulting the deputy assistant latrine attendant of the anteroom to the staff kitchen? They sure were not consulting the Legal and Human Rights Committee of the Council, or the special rapporteur first appointed by that Committee and then confirmed by the Parliamentary Assembly. We know that because today Pieter Omtzigt reported to the [...]

Unheeded warnings

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2019-09-30T07:54:13+02:00Mon, 30th Sep '19, 07:54|

We should have known better. All those lawyers and accountants who went into this should have known better. We all should have known that something based on a lie would get us into trouble. The sale of citizenship scheme was sold by Joseph Muscat as a magnet for talent. But even as he said that [...]

Bankink alone in the dark

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2019-09-30T05:45:51+02:00Mon, 30th Sep '19, 05:45|

Antoine Zammit, for a couple of months the chief financial officer of the nationalist party, is an easy target. The home-made video of him explaining to his clients how to get their bootleg TV connection to access porn has split sides all afternoon yesterday. Before the day was out, he was made to resign. Don’t [...]

It does not matter that it’s in Dutch

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2019-09-29T09:11:31+02:00Sun, 29th Sep '19, 09:11|

How many of these documentaries must we see before more of us realise that the passport sales scheme is going to sink this country? The editorial of The Sunday Times today calls for the scheme to be scrapped. Adrian Delia yesterday called for the scheme to be scrapped. Daphne Caruana Galizia called for the scheme [...]

THE SUNDAY TIMES: The right to be free

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2019-09-29T07:45:44+02:00Sun, 29th Sep '19, 07:45|

From my article in The Sunday Times today:   "Let me translate pizzo to ‘silent partner’, and then things will feel more familiar. "In hushed whispers, many will admit that there are sectors of our economy that are not open to all that may be interested. And for those that are allowed in, there’s an [...]

GUEST POST: On not practising what is preached – Reflections on the EU commissioner’s nomination

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2019-09-29T07:09:31+02:00Sun, 29th Sep '19, 07:09|

Sent in by someone known to me: On a popular current affairs discussion RAI programme, a prominent political person asked the rhetorical question: “Si deve chiedere se Malta veramente e un paese del UE o no.” The body language of both the interviewer and his guest to that question was in the negative. Because Malta [...]

GUEST SERIES: Pandora’s Box (3)

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2019-09-29T06:44:52+02:00Sun, 29th Sep '19, 06:44|

This series started out as an investigation into the American University of Malta based on an interview with an ex- staff member who was part of the mass firings. [See When Is a University Not a University] However, it soon opened out on to the wider landscape of corruption saturating Malta. Part 1 of this [...]

The Councillor in the trench

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2019-09-25T14:52:43+02:00Wed, 25th Sep '19, 14:52|

Last Sunday Noel Grima contrasted the tenacity of the activists that campaign for truth and justice in the case of Daphne Caruana Galizia with the floppiness of the Nationalist Party. “I wondered,” Noel Grima wrote, “not just at the tenacity of this small group, without any visible means of support, and with no political background, [...]

Robbing the nuns to pay the band

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2019-09-25T09:24:15+02:00Wed, 25th Sep '19, 09:24|

The story of the fired Valletta parish priest and the church paraphernalia put up for sale in an antique shop opens questions quite beyond the obvious intrigue of a cleric fallen from grace. On one level silverware and art that did not belong to Deo Debono but were entrusted in his care found their way [...]

When in doubt, shred.

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2019-09-25T08:27:42+02:00Wed, 25th Sep '19, 08:27|

Here's the front door of the Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates office in Valletta before the rubbish collectors go by. It is a scene reminiscent of the headquarters of the SS just before the Russians rolled into Berlin. And of course more recently of the offices of Nexia BT and Mossack Fonseca (Malta) after Daphne Caruana Galizia [...]

Some friends are more equal than others

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2019-09-24T07:44:25+02:00Tue, 24th Sep '19, 07:44|

The government is trying to dispel the notion that Chetcuti Cauchi were a privileged crew. They have to do that or they’ll go down with the ship and the Chetcuti Cauchis are not worth that sort of trouble. They’re friends, but not that much. They are part of the brood we saw emerge from nowhere [...]

Giancarlo Siani was killed 34 years ago today

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2019-09-23T15:31:15+02:00Mon, 23rd Sep '19, 15:31|

Giancarlo Siani was an Italian crime reporter from Naples, who was killed by the Camorra. On June 10, 1985, three months before he was killed, Siani had revealed that the arrest of Valentino Gionta had been decided by Lorenzo Nuvoletta, head of the Nuvoletta clan, a rival Camorra clan. Siani was preparing a dossier on [...]

First in. First out.

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2019-09-23T14:09:49+02:00Mon, 23rd Sep '19, 14:09|

Have you noticed how the license number for Chetcuti Cauchi law firm to sell Maltese passports is IIP001. Their license was suspended today after they were caught on camera gloating something to the effect of being able to get any crook a passport because they're buddies with Owen Bonnici, Julia Farrugia and Joseph Muscat. IIP001 [...]

Chetcuti Cauchi suspended from passports scheme

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2019-09-23T13:17:46+02:00Mon, 23rd Sep '19, 13:17|

In a brief statement the government announced that "the Malta Individual Investor Programme Agency has suspended the licences of Chetcuti Cauchi Advisors Ltd, holders of licences IIP 001 and IIP 124, until further notice." That's after Jean-Philippe Chetcuti, partner of the firm, was shown in a French TV channel M6 documentary last night boasting that [...]

GUEST POST: Of cats and mice

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2019-09-23T12:53:47+02:00Mon, 23rd Sep '19, 12:53|

Sent in by someone known to me: As expected, Joseph Muscat has failed to call an independent comprehensive  inquiry on his government’s role in Daphne’s assassination within the three month deadline. That is the stark truth. Since the deadline has not been met, it is now up to the Council of Europe to match their [...]

When Saviour Balzan is interviewed

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2019-09-23T12:41:52+02:00Mon, 23rd Sep '19, 12:41|

This was the concluding section of a recent article by Saviour Balzan: The Caruana Galizia family has to be congratulated for having built a narrative that has played well in the media, most especially that in the foreign domain. They have now called for a meeting with the Prime Minister to complain over the composition [...]

M6: Malta, jewel of the Mediterranean and paradise of corruption

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2019-09-23T12:17:25+02:00Mon, 23rd Sep '19, 12:17|

Do watch this documentary broadcast last night by French channel M6. Its transmission can't be the last you've heard of it. It's exactly what you're used to watch: a beautiful island known heretofore as a tourism destination but under the shiny sheen of the promotional videos a country uglified by corruption, violence, collusion and crime. [...]

He’s confident

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2019-09-22T21:18:06+02:00Sun, 22nd Sep '19, 19:05|

I don’t really see the point of all the circumlocution. Joseph Muscat carries the ultimate responsibility for all the awkward answers a truly independent and impartial inquiry could turn out.If it is determined that the state could have done more to protect Daphne Caruana Galizia, the buck stops with Joseph Muscat. If it is determined [...]