In June 2020 Robert Abela had been Prime Minister for less than 6 months. That’s when news broke that within a 3-week flip Enemalta poured nearly €5 million into Yorgen Fenech’s pockets to broker a deal worth less than half of his commission. That was the Montenegro windfarm scandal.
Robert Abela was still trying to milk the myth that he was a virginal replacement to that harlot Joseph Muscat. Distancing himself from the Enemalta scandal Robert Abela said he was “disgusted” by what he read had happened and called for “a full investigation”.
Today, just shy of three years later, we find out that no one has yet looked at the email accounts of the Enemalta directors involved in the swindle. As full an investigation as a dry well.
I mean, what do you say to that? What hyperbole, what emphasis, what rhetoric, is proportionate to this mendacious gaslighting? How does one move from 5 years of denouncing the criminal complicity of Lawrence Cutajar, from the moral outrage of seeing him crawl out of a piss-up in a fenkata place the night Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad slipped out of his office loaded with bags of evidence, while holding back on the shrill indignation?
How does one outgrow being made a fool of in this way, being treated with such disdain by a second government in a row?
How does one hold on to the hope that one day this country might turn a corner and crawl out of the slime and the mud of the most corrupt, most morally empty, most exhausting decade of our history?
We don’t live to protest and to shadow the government and to flood the streets with our frustration. We feel no delight in being given another way to fulfil our prophecies that Joseph Muscat’s personal attorney can do no better in fighting corruption than Joseph Muscat.
When we protested in the streets to have Lawrence Cutajar removed it was because we dared to hope his replacement would do things differently. When we marched to call for Peter Grech to quit it was because we assumed that any other prosecutor would behave ‘normally’ and show some keenness to fight crime.
None of us protested to have Joseph Muscat and his underlings replaced by their clones, only to have to do so all over again.
And yet this is where we are: where we’ve been for 5 years. In place of Lawrence Cutajar and Silvio Valletta and Ian Abdilla, we have Angelo Gafà actively obstructing the course of justice which he is expected to represent and uphold. For what else can explain the police “dragging their feet” which is nice-talk for undermining, obstructing, and sabotaging a magistrate’s instructions to gather evidence of yet another crime exposed by journalists?
George Vella in the last 48 hours urged journalists to curb their “hate speech”. He speaks on the back of a misunderstanding. If I said that all Eskimos are lazy drunks and they should be exiled en masse from Malta, that’s hate speech I should learn to suppress or I should face criminal consequences for. But that’s not the hate speech George Vella has in mind.
He has in mind the fact that I hate the institutions of this country protecting criminals. I hate the fact that three years after we discovered they had used public money to pour millions into Konrad Mizzi’s pal Yorgen Fenech, the police still haven’t looked at their email accounts.
If that’s hate speech, I’m guilty as charged. But I can’t stop speaking about what I hate because that is exactly the reaction Angelo Gafà and the criminals he’s protecting is hoping for. It’s the reaction he mostly gets from most people anyway.
Anywhere in the democratic world news like this morning’s that said the police failed to even begin to investigate a corruption scandal of that magnitude three years after the prime minister was forced to express disgust about it, people would be in the streets until Angelo Gafà, and his boss Byron Camilleri resigned in disgrace.
Anywhere else but here. Not because the Maltese are particularly indifferent to corruption but because they’re tired of nothing being done about it. They’re tired of feeling helpless. They’re tired of being made fun of. They’re tired of being lied to, being told the prime minister is disgusted while he ensures that no one pays a price.
No one wants to put handcuffs on Konrad Mizzi not because he is loved by anyone but because he threatens to blurt out too much information to avoid putting handcuffs on Joseph Muscat and those who protect him.
We often wonder why magisterial inquiries that have been going on for 3, 4, 5, even 7 years are nowhere near conclusion. And then you get the answer sometimes, like you’re hearing from Repubblika’s court cases on the Pilatus inquiry and form this story about the Montenegro inquiry.
Either the police or the prosecutor or both bury the work of magistrates in sand, ignore instructions to collect evidence, to arrest, and to prosecute, obstruct the judicial process to make sure it gets nowhere.
Where do we find the handful of people that are needed to change this? Where is the police officer who will ignore Angelo Gafà’s bullying and finally get the job done?