Iosif Galea sentenced to 2.5 years in prison by German court

2022-09-30T15:01:51+02:00Fri, 30th Sep '22, 15:01|

Iosif Galea, former John Dalli business associate and Joseph Muscat travel partner, has been sentenced to 2 and half years in prison by a German court after he was found guilty of aggravated tax evasion. The state court of Frankfurt found Iosif Galea guilty of evading €1.7 million in taxes owed over a period of [...]

(3) SLAPPs: The government has barely scratched the surface

2022-09-29T18:39:40+02:00Thu, 29th Sep '22, 18:39|

As a final entry in this series about the poverty of the so-called anti-SLAPP law the government proposed yesterday I want to list things the government should have introduced but didn’t. Against what standard, you might ask? Well, a good place to start would have been the draft EU directive published earlier this year that, [...]

(2) SLAPPs: The government has barely scratched the surface

2022-09-29T18:27:39+02:00Thu, 29th Sep '22, 18:27|

The second amendment to the libel law that the government published yesterday is labelled as the government’s initiative to provide “protection against judgements abusively obtained from courts outside Malta”. The government handed journalists paper umbrellas and sent them out in the rain. There are a number of reasons why I say that. Firstly, the government [...]

(1) SLAPPs: The government has barely scratched the surface

2022-09-29T18:25:46+02:00Thu, 29th Sep '22, 18:25|

This morning I reviewed the bill proposing constitutional amendments that the government published yesterday ostensibly to strengthen media freedom. I turn now to the second bill the government announced yesterday and I’ll split this review in two parts, starting in this series with the two provisions proposed by the government to address SLAPP suits. Once [...]

Malta in the dock over passport sales: Commission asks European Court to ban practice

2022-09-30T00:52:02+02:00Thu, 29th Sep '22, 13:17|

The European Commission announced today it was dragging Malta to the European Court of Justice because Malta sells its citizenship to people who have nothing to do with the country. That, the Commission argues, is in breach of the legal principle that we should “cooperate sincerely” with other member states. The biggest value to Maltese [...]

(4) The amendments to the Constitution threaten rather than protect free speech

2022-09-29T10:06:14+02:00Thu, 29th Sep '22, 09:57|

The third amendment to the constitution the government published yesterday rejigs the constitutional principle of free expression and, interestingly, the drafters resort to a universally respected source: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Indeed, the new text that establishes the right to free expression is nearly identical to the Universal Declaration. Except. Except is the [...]

(3) The amendments to the Constitution threaten rather than protect free speech

2022-09-29T10:17:28+02:00Thu, 29th Sep '22, 09:54|

The second amendment to the constitution in the bill the government published yesterday is an amendment to the constitution’s Article 38 which rejigs the constitutional provisions on the protection for privacy. Now it’s a mystery why this issue has been jumbled with a discussion on media freedom. No doubt there is a relationship between the [...]

(2) The amendments to the Constitution threaten rather than protect free speech

2022-09-29T10:05:16+02:00Thu, 29th Sep '22, 09:50|

The first amendment to the constitution published by the government yesterday introduces a new statement that says that: The State recognises the freedom of the media and the role of the media as a public watchdog together with the right to exercise free journalism as fundamental elements of democracy. The State shall protect and promote [...]

The government has recognised the existence of a fourth pillar of democracy and proceeded to piss on it

2022-09-28T15:42:15+02:00Wed, 28th Sep '22, 15:42|

The justice minister published three bills, including a constitutional amendment, presented as reforms to protect media freedom and the journalists doing the work. Jonathan Attard said the reforms are the government’s reaction to recommendations by the public inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The government took up the PN’s proposal from last year, [...]

Events marking 5 years since Daphne’s assassination announced

2022-09-29T05:44:03+02:00Wed, 28th Sep '22, 13:06|

Repubblika, #occupyjustice and this website announced today the program of events marking the fifth anniversary of the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The calendar of events is as follows: From Saturday 8th October 2022: An exhibition with the theme ‘Daphne Eroj Maltija’ will be set-up outside Valletta’s City Gate. On Wednesday 12th October 2022: A [...]

Daphne’s parents support call for open consultation on press reform

2022-09-28T13:04:15+02:00Wed, 28th Sep '22, 13:04|

Late this morning the government announced that within one hour the Justice Minister will be delivering a “press conference on Bills for the strengthening of protection and freedom of the media”. The announcement after the government ignored a letter signed by over a hundred journalists, academics, and free speech campaigners calling for public consultation. We’ll [...]

Acquired silence

2022-09-28T09:28:39+02:00Wed, 28th Sep '22, 09:28|

I don’t know who to blame for a bunch of young people deciding they’d rather stay home than speak at a mock Parliament on a controversial subject. Seen from the outside the youth parliament is one of those yearly depressing rituals meant to reassure us that democracy is functioning, and inter-generational dialogue is a thing. [...]

How retired One TV anchors saved the planet from climate catastrophe

2022-09-27T16:00:06+02:00Tue, 27th Sep '22, 16:00|

Not one, but two government ministers took time out of their busy schedules to speak about what truly matters: how the planet must be saved with ‘sustainable projects’. Julia Farrugia Portelli and Miriam Dalli said the government was putting your money where its mouth is and supporting voluntary organisations in their effort to realise the [...]

So, what does the Chamber of Advocates think now?

2022-09-26T10:39:08+02:00Mon, 26th Sep '22, 10:39|

In June 2020 this website and The Shift News got a royal bashing from the Chamber of Advocates. It was over reporting and commentary on the two sites about Aron Mifsud Bonnici. The Chamber issued a statement of support for Mifsud Bonnici “condemning without reservation” the two websites and proceeding to advise what a “serious [...]

THE SUNDAY TIMES: The ominous silence

2022-09-25T08:33:49+02:00Sun, 25th Sep '22, 08:33|

From my article in The Sunday Times today: Photo: The Sunday Times/Matthew Mirabelli "There are thickly veiled signs that the government is readying itself to publish a legislative package that they present as the implementation of the inquiry recommendations to guarantee press freedom. The prime minister will, like he has before now, present [...]

Insecurity minister

2022-09-26T10:46:09+02:00Sun, 25th Sep '22, 08:26|

Byron Camilleri did a Joe Giglio on Andrew Azzopardi’s show yesterday. “Repubblika?” he scoffed, fiddling with his tie like Oliver Hardy in a sticky situation. “They’re just an extremist faction of the PN.” Presumably without hearing him, Mark Said writing today in Times of Malta and The Malta Independent, presents Byron Camilleri with a response. [...]


2022-09-23T14:30:14+02:00Fri, 23rd Sep '22, 14:30|

I first started getting properly interested in domestic politics after the 1992 elections. There were two political strands that intrigued me. The first was the government’s plan to secure Malta’s membership in the EU. There was a frenzy of excitement that the EU’s enlargement was imminent. Indeed, it turned out to be with four countries [...]

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