Going south

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2017-11-29T17:44:04+01:00Wed, 29th Nov '17, 17:44|

Etienne Grech has been crowned "Il-Ministru tas-Sawt" an extra-constitutional honorofic which the Labour government appears to reserve to the more embarrassing in its ranks. His predecessor Silvio Parnis was no Nobel laureate. But if half the army got promoted before the last election and the other half got medals for being there, why shouldn't the [...]

How proper democracies function

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2017-11-29T09:54:22+01:00Wed, 29th Nov '17, 09:54|

Compare what goes on in this polity, where state, government and party are indistinguishable and like something from the council of Nicaea that indivisible trinity is personified in Joseph Muscat, and other normal democracies. A policeman whistle-blower in Ireland clear his throat to accuse the force that employed him of corruption. To cover themselves his [...]

Passing the resit

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2017-11-29T09:23:01+01:00Wed, 29th Nov '17, 09:23|

The government has been awarding itself medals for faint praise it has received for the new press law it is piloting through parliament. International rights organisations have expressed relief that the draconian proposals the government first put forward have been partially withdrawn after the opprobrium they raised. The sense of relief that the fascist disaster [...]

Skills starvation

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2017-11-29T08:39:27+01:00Wed, 29th Nov '17, 08:39|

In the interview he gave us, Jonathan Ferris spoke of his involvement in the Libya visa scam investigations. He described a container of documents being delivered to him and a bunch of policemen reporting to him sifting through heaps of paperwork. Until they gave up and were taken off the case to investigate something else. [...]

Crypto-denial

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2017-11-28T19:24:25+01:00Tue, 28th Nov '17, 19:24|

Yesterday’s parliamentary question from Godfrey Farrugia asking the prime minister whether the government was considering accepting crypto-currencies to sell passports was a smart question indeed. He got an unambiguous response from the prime minister. “No” the government is not planning to sell passports for bitcoins. Why is the question significant? Vanuatu is a micro-state that [...]

Norman Lowell goes on a pilgrimage

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2017-11-27T17:09:46+01:00Mon, 27th Nov '17, 17:09|

Norman Lowell went on a trip to Bavaria on what he describes as a "spiritual and political pilgrimage". He peered from the mountain top views enjoyed by his "hero" Adolf Hitler. Then he posed with a bust of Adolf Hitler and smiled inanely like some people pose with a wax replica of the pope at [...]

Will Keith Schembri ignore the European Parliament again?

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2017-11-27T14:39:03+01:00Mon, 27th Nov '17, 14:39|

Keith Schembri should accept the invitation of the European Parliament’s delegation coming to Malta this week to answer their questions on what he knows about corruption and money laundering. He has already twice dodged the PANA committee on two visits, causing embarrassment to the his boss the prime minister, the government he leads, the party [...]

G Leone Ganado: The Egrant questions

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2017-11-27T08:58:07+01:00Mon, 27th Nov '17, 08:58|

By Godfrey Leone Ganado, who here reminds us of the many outstanding questions on the third Panama company and asks some new ones. The two declarations of trust dated 20 August 2015, which were in the kitchen-safe at Pilatus Bank as alleged by whistle-blower Maria Efimova, are both allegedly held by the subscribers to the [...]

LISTEN: The Ferris Tapes (Part 1) (updated with transcript)

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2017-11-27T09:58:00+01:00Sun, 26th Nov '17, 21:33|

I interviewed Jonathan Ferris about his experience investigating corruption and money laundering at the Police and the FIAU from which he was summarily dismissed. In this first part of the interview, Jonathan Ferris speaks of direct Ministerial interference in police investigations and of resource starvation for investigations into crimes committed by high profile people in [...]

More Mossack Fonseca files passing to the Malta police: we should have an independent inquiry

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2017-11-26T20:48:04+01:00Sun, 26th Nov '17, 19:54|

Sueddeutsche Zeitung reports the German federal procesutor is passing to the Malta police all information connected to Malta in some 3 terabytes of data from Mossack Fonseca servers purchased from an unknown source and leaked separately earlier in 2017, over a year after the ICIJ leaked the Panama Papers. The Munich prosecutor spent 2 million [...]

Tendering for government work is beneath the dignity of Labour Party officials

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2017-11-26T19:04:35+01:00Sun, 26th Nov '17, 19:04|

William Lewis, Segretarju Organizzattiv of the Labour Party, and recently commissioned by direct order for government works in Birżebbuġa is a veteran beneficiary of architectural engagements of government work without the bother of a competitive process to allow others better than him at the job a chance to make an offer. The quality of his [...]

THE SUNDAY TIMES: Clean hands

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2017-11-26T09:31:05+01:00Sun, 26th Nov '17, 09:31|

From my The Sunday Times article today: "As with the counter-intuitive Brexit vote, the institutional collapse in Kenya, the breakdown of the Opposition in Grenada and other micro-States, explanations of the political realities of Malta on the back of conventional voting behaviour analyses are becoming insufficient. Nothing is what it seems when the real decisions [...]

The message the bombers sent

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2017-11-25T21:56:07+01:00Sat, 25th Nov '17, 21:56|

Interviews carried today by London's The Times with Jonathan Ferris and Maria Efimova show just how whistle-blowers are made to feel by the government of this country. It is clear that the intimidation campaign against journalists in Malta, culminating in the explosive annihilation of Daphne Caruana Galizia, were addressed to sources who provide information to [...]

Disgraced former US immigration officer endorses sale of Malta’s passports

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2017-11-25T22:31:39+01:00Sat, 25th Nov '17, 21:26|

Malta Today carried an endorsement of Malta’s passport scheme from a Peter Vincent, introduced to the reader as a lawyer at Thomson Reuters. With that brand name he is introduced as a respectable authority whose endorsement is clearly intended to improve the credibility of the due diligence process conducted by Identity Malta to vet people [...]

The government wants you to think the smuggler did it

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2017-11-25T09:43:42+01:00Sat, 25th Nov '17, 09:43|

In spite of all the talk of leaving the investigations to run their course before pronouncing judgement, the government has had a theory about who killed Daphne Caruana Galizia and it has been briefing the international press on that theory with a nudge and a wink couching a cover-up as a genuine tip-off. But a [...]

Self-entrapment

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2017-11-24T19:24:48+01:00Fri, 24th Nov '17, 19:24|

The Nationalist opposition continues to bleed from wounds of its own making. Adrian Delia’s arguments in Parliament, defending a motion his party proposed to re-introduce dscimination in working conditions for people resorting to IVF treatments not permitted in Malta, were shallow and unconvincing. He argued the motion was making a “legal” point, not a “moral” [...]