Those were the grounds the Malta Financial Services Authority cited yesterday when it banned Christian Ellul and Karl Schranz from working as directors or providers of any services regulated by the MFSA.
Christian Ellul is the ex-husband of the daughter of Marian Kocner, the Slovak business tycoon who has been charged with ordering the murder of Jan Kuciak the Slovak journalist who had investigated him for organised criminal activities.
But Christian Ellul was also Kocner’s man in Malta providing the criminal mastermind with financial services here.
While Kocner waits to be tried for murder, he is currently serving a 19-year prison sentence for financial crimes and has been put on the Magnitsky sanctions list which allows the United States to freeze his assets wherever in the world they may be.
Christian Ellul and his associate Karl Schranz are suing The Shift and Matthew Caruana Galizia on multiple counts for ‘damaging’ their company’s reputation when disclosing links between Marian Kocner and Christian Ellul.
The pair is also appealing earlier sanctions imposed on them by the MFSA.
It is significant that financial services operators have been struck off on the grounds of “lack of honesty and integrity” which are, at least in theory, required values for professional service providers. From the evidence that has emerged the MFSA’s decision appears, in this case, to be entirely justified.
But of course, for justice to be seen to be done it needs to be handed down equally. Ellul and Schranz provided services that helped a criminal cover up his activities. A journalist was killed for unearthing those criminal activities, allegedly by order of Ellul and Schranz’s client Marian Kocner.
How is it then that Brian Tonna and Karl Cini are still thriving financial services providers under license of the MFSA?