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.
One of the film’s principal cast of characters is Luke Chetcuti, son and heir of Hugo Chetcuti the nightlife mogul killed last year. Luke Chetcuti is only an extreme Tony-Montana-like version of the perverse sliminess of the greed, crassness, hypocrisy and self-indulgence we have come to somehow admire as a role model.
But around him you see just how things work here. Luke Chetcuti bursting with supreme arrogance and self-confidence is overheard on tape speaking about Chris Cardona and Konrad Mizzi as ministers in his pocket that he can influence by text messages and late night meetings in night clubs to drive them to give him public property for private use.
When he names them, their names are beeped over. Given the experience of other reporters making similar films, M6 likely received libel threats from several government ministers and others appearing in the film saying they have been ‘duped’ into admitting to trading in influence and corruption. Which, of course, they deny.
If you take away the pumped Moldovan bikini models and the mafioso pin striped suits, the same corruption is flatly admitted to by a shipowner in shorts who rents out his rusty big boats to smugglers. Paul Attard frankly admits to this even as he is flanked by his rickety Italian lawyer. The customs director is interviewed later in the production and at first feigns knowing nothing about Paul Attard and then saying he does actually know about him but the crimes his boats are alleged to be involved in occurred outside Maltese territorial waters. That’s alright then.
Like Vito Corleone wagging his finger at Turk Solazzo, Paul Attard assures us his trafficking chummies do not handle drugs. Only cigarettes and fuel.
Fuel smuggling funds the warlords that are brutalising people in Libya and extending the war there. But who cares if we’re making money? Certainly not the director of customs.
Luke Chetcuti inadvertently admits to corruption involving Konrad Mizzi and Chris Cardona.
Jean-Philippe Chetcuti of Chetcuti Cauchi advocates is the white collar version of just the same collusion. Under-cover the film asks Chetcuti’s underling if they could help him get a passport for someone with a criminal record.
JP Chetcuti answers. Owen Bonnici used to work in my office, he says. Julia Farrugia is buddies with my wife. I was school mates with Joseph Muscat. I can get anyone a passport. Faces are blurred, names of ministers are beeped over, denials of corruption and trading in influence are reported clearly. But we know these people. We can recognise them through the blurring and the beeping. This is our country they’re shafting.
The paradise of corruption is hell for those who fight for justice. The place were Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed and the government drags its feet for two years about opening an independent inquiry and sends its Manuel Mallia in Strasbourg to try to resist a motion asking for one. The paradise of corruption is the hell for Daphne’s family. Watch them in this documentary get physically assaulted. Watch thugs kick pictures of Daphne and spit on them. Watch them threaten journalists with “go back to your country. I will kill you”.
Watch Julia Farrugia lie saying that if she would find a passport applicant who lied in their application (such as about where in Malta they live) she would have them removed. Her buddy’s husband JP Chetcuti has just told the camera he knows her and he can get her not to do that.
And then watch her lie about her respect for journalists local and international. Watch her lie about her respect for Daphne Caruana Galizia.
A paradise for corruption is a paradise for liars.
See how these people are making us look in the eyes of the world.