Now we know

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2020-04-30T08:54:06+02:00Thu, 30th Apr '20, 08:54|

Neville Gafà is about as smart as he looks. And as honest. I very much doubt that his sudden attack of acute sincerity was the result of some damascene illumination. His decision to out the prime minister and charge him with ordering an illegal push-back of migrants to Libya (read Newsbook’s report from last night, [...]

Not Betty Davis eyes

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2020-04-29T11:38:08+02:00Wed, 29th Apr '20, 11:38|

I thought I should perhaps write something about Mario Philip Azzopardi. He’s the guy with the Herr Doktor Mengele eyes who trawls the net for women to insult with sexually offensive terms and to inflict verbal violence that would cause a melee in the mud to pause in gaunt embarrassment. It would be legitimate for [...]

Can our government brief us on its meetings with Libya?

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2020-04-29T10:32:52+02:00Wed, 29th Apr '20, 10:32|

We've been here before. We get information about meetings held by the Maltese government from sources in the country our government is having meetings in. Usually that's when the government does not even want us to know what the meeting is about. Evarist Bartolo appears to have had meetings with the Libyan equivalent of a [...]

Cause of death

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2020-04-29T10:12:29+02:00Wed, 29th Apr '20, 09:56|

“The facts and the evidence that has emerged so far points to grave legal responsibility of the Maltese authorities. For at least 5 days they refused to assist 63 people at sea. They coordinated their illegal push-back out of Malta’s search and rescue area of responsibility. They caused the death of 5 people who needed [...]

Remember their names

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2020-04-29T09:58:55+02:00Wed, 29th Apr '20, 09:45|

Italian Catholic newspaper Avvenire has identified the names of 12 people who died on a boat allowed to drift in Malta’s search and rescue area in spite of the fact that the Maltese armed forces spotted them when they were still alive. Omar, Mogos, Hzqiel, Hdru, Huruy, Teklay, Nohom, Kidus, Debesay, and three men named [...]

The lawyer who keeps good company

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2020-04-29T09:29:49+02:00Wed, 29th Apr '20, 09:29|

Rather pathetic, isn’t it? Jean Philippe Chetcuti was caught by a hidden camera promising a journalist pretending to be a client that he can get his buddies in the government to bend the rules to allow a person with a criminal record to buy a Maltese passport. He has now been certified as a champion [...]

Silence

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2020-04-29T08:29:17+02:00Wed, 29th Apr '20, 08:29|

Nothing has been heard since before 4.30 this morning from 62 migrants who made a distress call to NGO Alarm Phone as their vessel started taking in water. Alarm Phone says the boat has been likely spotted yesterday afternoon by a Frontex surveillance flight. The agency says they're trying to get through to Malta's armed [...]

GUEST POST: Pilatus Bank and the Competent Person

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2020-04-28T14:49:29+02:00Tue, 28th Apr '20, 14:49|

Timeline of Events On 21 March 2018 the MFSA issued directives: removing Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad from the position of director of the Bank and any executive roles that he holds within the bank;o ordering that Ali Sadr suspends the exercise of his voting rights as shareholder of the Bank and refrains from exercising the [...]

Loading dice

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2020-04-27T10:33:49+02:00Mon, 27th Apr '20, 10:33|

There is no doubt the odds are stacked in favour of Robert Abela. In spite of a Venice Commission intervention demanding reform, he will be choosing the next police chief and will keep them for a year on probation with the power to kick them out without needing to give anyone an explanation. It feels [...]

Is that all it takes?

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2020-04-27T10:27:40+02:00Mon, 27th Apr '20, 10:27|

The prime minister said yesterday Repubblika “paralysed the army” by playing politics. It rather takes away all the comfort we get from the idea that we have an army that can defend us from terrorists, traffickers and organised criminals. If a bunch of ragtag Nazzjonalisti ndannati ta’ Simon Busuttil can disarm our military by hiring [...]

GUEST POST: Sacrificing ‘consociational democracy’

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2020-04-27T08:10:43+02:00Mon, 27th Apr '20, 08:10|

Arend Lijphart in a variety of contributions discusses the notion of a "consociational” or “consensus” democracy relating to or denoting a political system formed by the cooperation of different social groups on the basis of shared power. In his seminal 1999 treatise “Patterns of Democracy” he establishes a distinction between what he calls alternately “majoritarian” [...]

GUEST POST: Satabank and the Competent Person (2)

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2020-04-27T17:04:27+02:00Mon, 27th Apr '20, 07:47|

Continues from part 1 of this series. The 12-month report of the competent person was tabled in Parliament on 20 April, and it covers the period from 20 October 2018, the date of appointment of the competent person, to 31 October 2019. The competent person, however, included certain important data up to 28 February 2020, [...]

Liberation

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2020-04-26T08:49:28+02:00Sun, 26th Apr '20, 08:49|

Italy yesterday marked the anniversary of the declaration of the overthrow of the fascist regime. It should be a day celebrated here as well. It was a battle our ancestors fought as well. They helped win it. Our failure to remember is why we’re not seeing the signs of its resurgence. My article in The [...]

THE SUNDAY TIMES: Muscle man Abela

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2020-04-26T07:33:10+02:00Sun, 26th Apr '20, 07:33|

From my article in The Sunday Times today: "But while a policy of ignoring the fate of migrants at sea gave Abela the demonstration match he needed to start looking tougher than Fearne, Repubblika’s efforts to resist his decision and hold him accountable to its consequences gave him a scapegoat he could isolate and dehumanise. [...]

The decision before the decision

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2020-04-25T10:30:23+02:00Sat, 25th Apr '20, 10:21|

To whip up support for its decision to flout international law by pushing back migrants into war-torn and warlord-infested Libya, Robert Abela’s government grounded its arguments in the Covid-19 crisis. But the secret push back plan had been long in the making. The existence of a ‘grand plan’ was confirmed by none other than Neville [...]

Soothing one’s conscience

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2020-04-25T09:44:46+02:00Sat, 25th Apr '20, 09:42|

Prime Minister Robert Abela has made much of the fact that his conscience is clear. A pathological inability to feel any responsibility for one's own decision seems to be a requirement for the job he took over from his equally callous predecessor. But Joseph Muscat admitted he struggled with his conscience for having attempted – [...]

UNHCR ‘has not heard’ of 30 tons of food aid Malta government claims it has delivered to Tripoli

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2020-04-25T08:10:26+02:00Sat, 25th Apr '20, 08:10|

A spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has told this website that after checking they “have not heard about any delivery of aid from Malta”. The question about the nature of the aid was put to the UNHCR after government “informed sources” told TVM this week that “the Maltese government has sent [...]

‘Evidence of Malta’s collusion with Libyan torturers suggests a crime against humanity’ – international law expert

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2020-04-24T08:42:09+02:00Fri, 24th Apr '20, 08:42|

Speaking to Italian Catholic newspaper l’Avvenire, the EU border agency Frontex provided information that shows that search and rescue services of Italy, Malta and Libya had been given the information they needed to rescue in time all passengers of a dinghy where 5 people died and another 7 were lost, presumed dead. The survivors were [...]