Jean Philippe Chetcuti had said he was mistranslated on the M6 broadcast that dubbed his sales pitch to an undercover reporter pretending to inquire about a passport for a his client with a criminal record.
Now we can hear it in its full uncompromised and untranslated glory.
Jean Philippe Chetcuti starts by accurately explaining the law. If you’re refused a Maltese passport, say because you have a criminal record, there is, legally, no recourse to appeal. The decision is final.
Except if you’re old school buddies with Joseph Muscat, if your wife is BFFs with Julia Farrugia’s BFF and if Owen Bonnici used to be a lawyer working in your firm.
“There are limited cases where we are able to fight for a reconsideration. But the odds are against you. Because there is no appeal mechanism. So in fact for me it’s just lobbying base. I keep on friendly term so I don’t tell the Minister ‘you’ve done a bad job or you made a mistake’. We say, ‘look, I think with more information, we can have a fuller picture’ and sometimes — they can’t tell me the reason, but they can wink when I suggest certain things and therefore it helps me submit information to contradict that. Basically.”
There is a lawyer confessing that he can collude with government ministers, using his friendly relationship with them and in case of Owen Bonnici exploiting the fact that the minister used to be his junior in his firm, to work around the law.
He admits to the camera — unwittingly of course, which makes the admission unfiltered by the restraint of knowing people who are not trying to give him money to get them a passport — that Ministers will “wink” at him to tell him what “they cannot” tell him. Because “they can’t tell (him) the reason”.
They can’t. But they do. They wink.
Repubblika filed a request for an inquiry into this because the police, it would seem, weren’t watching. They still aren’t because we’re not informed they’ve had a conversation with Jean Philippe Chetcuti. That’s perhaps because no one there speaks French. But is there anyone who speaks English?
The magistrate evaluating whether an inquiry should start doesn’t need to wait for M6 to reply anymore. The untranslated, uncut rush is out now because someone put it on Russian streaming service Rutube. Rutube allows anonymous posting. Youtube doesn’t.
Doesn’t matter who put it there. What matters is what Jean Philippe Chetcuti says. If you’re buddies with government ministers, they’ll wink at you and speak to you in code to tell you what you’re not supposed to know. Even to get a criminal through the due diligence filters and get a Maltese passport.
This is how it works. It’s criminal. But it works.