A London correspondent for an Italian newspaper spoke to me last night after she read Yorgen Fenech was released without charge. ‘Your country is officially crazier than mine. Both of them.’
Yeah. The mastermind behind the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia was the most wanted man in the history of crime in Malta. The world covered his arrest and yesterday featured in newspapers from Japan to Argentina. They nabbed him in a scene right out of a movie, chasing him on the high seas as he runs for it on his luxury yacht. It makes for a good opening for a new season of Narcos.
And then, less than 48 hours later, he’s let go.
Now we wait for his re-arrest sometime this morning. After all, this is not some case of horrible mistaken identity. Yorgen Fenech is Yorgen Fenech is Yorgen Fenech.
This comedy of errors is not funny.
The Times of Malta’s editorial this morning refers to the demand we made last Wednesday that Joseph Muscat resigns or else his parliamentary group replaces him. It does not think it’s likely to happen. It points out that the majority of MPs are employees of Joseph Muscat. They are captured. They cannot take a dispassionate decision about the government that employs them. Cupidity prevents them from taking a decision that lives up to their responsibilities as parliamentarians.
The Times’ leader reminds us all how the Labour Party parliamentary group trashed the observations made by the Commissioner for Standards George Hyzler that argued that to have separation of powers MPs on the government side that are not Ministers should not be government employees.
And then Ian Refalo, played to his clients’ tune and wrote an opinion that effectively amounts to the notion that we do not need separation of powers between the legislature and the executive.
Separation of powers between the legislature and the executive could have come in handy today. Owen Bonnici spoke of crossed lines yesterday because someone scratched his car. He should see the state of mine. And if he’s looking for crossed lines he should look behind him. Far behind him.
The executive has crossed a line when Joseph Muscat makes himself chief investigator of a crime that implicates his own appointees, the ones he refused to dismiss in the 3 years since the scandal started emerging.
The Times’ leader thinks last Wednesday we asked for something impossible: we asked Labour MPs to lend their support to a new Labour government that excludes Joseph Muscat and the other crooks in this operation, particularly Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri.
Though the Times thinks our demand is impossible, it clearly thinks it’s desirable.
It says our institutions would really be showing signs of life if Parliament woke up to the present catastrophe and fired the prime minister to replace him with someone less invested with the coverup of crime.
We are civil society. There are few advantages in that. But one privilege that comes with it is that we do not need to feel guilty about demanding the desirable. We don’t have to hesitate demanding the impossible.
Joseph Muscat must go. Preferably by the time Yorgen Fenech is rearrested.