GUEST POST: The first truth about the El Hiblu case

2023-11-30T11:29:00+01:00Thu, 30th Nov '23, 11:29|

Photo: REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi I am not a lawyer. I do have academic qualifications in maritime law. I am a published author on the subject and I lecture both locally and overseas. Now that’s out of the way, let’s tell some truths. I have no idea what happened aboard the El Hiblu in [...]

Those poor boys

2023-11-30T09:40:01+01:00Thu, 30th Nov '23, 09:40|

If you don’t know the story of Amara, Abdul, and Abdalla, you’ve been living under a rock. Their long-drawn-out torture continues now that Attorney General Victoria Buttigieg decided to serve them with an indictment for terrorism and unlawful arrest that is punishable with a life sentence. All they did was translate between captain and passengers [...]

LONG READ: Shed a tear for the mafia

2023-11-29T14:04:00+01:00Wed, 29th Nov '23, 14:04|

It feels like the pain of grey-listing by the FATF is well and truly forgotten. Malta’s pretence at fighting financial crime is being retired. Jonathan Attard, flanked by Judge Antonio Mizzi, announced a raft of measures to reduce the tools the law gave, up to now, to prosecutors to fight money laundering. Those tools are [...]

Creative evasions

2023-11-29T12:44:55+01:00Wed, 29th Nov '23, 12:44|

Ministers would like nothing better than for journalists to stay indoors. Few newsrooms can afford to have journalists lying in wait for politicians who do not pick up the phone. Unfortunately for politicians the Parliament building does not have an underground car park so sometimes ministers can’t avoid annoying questions. For just those situations they [...]

Partisan impartiality

2023-11-28T08:45:11+01:00Tue, 28th Nov '23, 08:45|

Sometimes you only spot the odd things after they’re gone. Consider this esoteric detail of small time Ħamrun politics. A Labour Councillor resigned without a formal announcement. The Council, the Labour Party, and the Councillor herself said bugger all. We came to know of her resignation because the Electoral Commission announced the election of her [...]

Secrets against the public interest

2023-11-27T10:00:27+01:00Mon, 27th Nov '23, 10:00|

Look at this Facebook post by Jason Azzopardi this morning. It’s another situation of a magisterial inquiry finding that people have a case to answer but, perhaps because of the serious political repercussions of prosecuting the case, the Attorney General, Victoria Buttigieg, has done nothing about. In theory the process of conducting and filing an [...]

Another one goes

2023-11-27T09:16:58+01:00Mon, 27th Nov '23, 09:16|

The authorities announced that Philip Galea Farrugia and four other lawyers will be appointed magistrates shortly. Philip Galea Farrugia is the Deputy Attorney General who prosecuted the Degiorgio brothers. When it came to trial there was only time for his opening presentation. When he finished and it was time for the jury to start hearing [...]

Back your children’s teachers

2023-11-27T09:45:50+01:00Mon, 27th Nov '23, 08:27|

I don’t know how generous is the “generous” offer the government made to teachers. I may not be a fan of every tactical choice the MUT makes. I know that whatever the offer teachers have and whatever methods their union resorts to, to force the offer upwards somewhat, the final deal will be a far [...]

He’s thinking seriously, he said. Which makes a change.

2023-11-24T09:34:03+01:00Fri, 24th Nov '23, 09:34|

Robert Abela reacted to a suggestion from the Parliamentary Speaker Anġlu Farrugia by saying he’s “seriously considering” it. The qualifier ‘seriously’ is either over-compensation or a slip of the tongue betraying the prime minister’s habit of treating suggestions from others with utter contempt. Back story. That grotesque man-child Clayton Bartolo sits on Parliament’s Public Accounts [...]

A duck you very much to Joseph Muscat

2023-11-22T07:58:28+01:00Wed, 22nd Nov '23, 07:58|

After yesterday’s session hearing his case to have Magistrate Gabriella Vella removed from the inquiry into corruption in the privatisation of three hospitals, Joseph Muscat predictably went to Facebook, his favourite court room. He picked on a couple of issues, one of which was an answer he got from Robert Aquilina, Repubblika’s president, who was [...]

Ministerial mistrust

2023-11-21T16:05:44+01:00Tue, 21st Nov '23, 16:05|

Read this report of a justification, such as it is, that tourism minister Clayton Bartolo gave for going back on the government’s promise of publishing a report into spending by the Malta Film Commission. Clayton Bartolo departs from the stock excuses the government uses to cover up information. You know the ones: ‘it’s commercially sensitive’, [...]

The puppet master

2023-11-21T15:37:39+01:00Tue, 21st Nov '23, 15:37|

Joseph Muscat was in court again today in pursuit of his effort to get a court to remove Magistrate Gabriella Vella from the inquiry that Repubblika asked into corruption in the hospitals privatisation. The man thinks what everybody else thinks: that any face value appraisal of the evidence places him as a suspect in some [...]

Vestal red herrings

2023-11-20T14:11:53+01:00Mon, 20th Nov '23, 14:11|

There were two sets of laws proposed in separate announcements today. The government announced a new law criminalising virginity testing. The law makes it illegal to force a woman to test whether she’s ever had vaginal intercourse. Virginity tests are a horrible thing. They legitimise brutal violation of a woman’s dignity and excuse flagrant discrimination. [...]

Taking responsibility or not

2023-11-20T13:26:24+01:00Mon, 20th Nov '23, 13:26|

It feels almost ridiculous to explain why people are angry that a block of apartment has been permitted for construction close to the Ġgantija Temples. There’s some debate as to whether the planning board that gave the approval was given the information it needed to decide. The board was told the new building is outside [...]

THE SUNDAY TIMES: Silvio’s Facebook post

2023-11-20T10:08:52+01:00Mon, 20th Nov '23, 10:08|

From my article in The Sunday Times yesterday: "Daphne Caruana Galizia summarised it in one of her more brilliant and memorable analyses published on July 3, 2015: 'There is corruption everywhere in the world, literally everywhere, and at every level. The difference is that in Malta people have a corrupt attitude towards corruption. They blank [...]

Chasing the crowd to look like they lead it

2023-11-16T09:18:37+01:00Thu, 16th Nov '23, 09:18|

A dozen trees were stripped down in preparation for their relocation away from the car park on the side of the Mosta Rotunda. Some people were angry because they were particularly attached to those trees. They spoke of the early morning bird song tickling the ears of people waiting for the pre-dawn buses before that [...]

Collective selective amnesia

2023-11-13T08:15:25+01:00Mon, 13th Nov '23, 08:15|

It looked like a fun day out. The country’s leaders of all hues and holders of all manner of office went for a cheerful “walk with the president” this Saturday. You look at their happy grins you’d think all was well with the world. Or at least, while the world went to shit, all was [...]

And then they were three

2023-11-10T11:38:05+01:00Fri, 10th Nov '23, 11:38|

Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed on a Monday. The following Sunday there was a big march in Valletta. I was invited to speak at that event, but I had nothing to do with its organisation. I wasn’t an activist of any sort at the time. I was caught by the events of that week like [...]

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