The Untouchables

If anyone thinks that with Yorgen Fenech’s arrest for the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia things on this island will revert to any semblance of normality any time soon, he or she is very mistaken.

Fenech’s arrest is a first step not an end.

Fenech’s arrest has exposed an intricate, villainous network of corruption and crime which has the office of the prime minister as it’s command and operations centre.

This den of iniquity at Castille enjoys complete immunity from the law and justice. It can never be uprooted if the institutions maintain their current policy of shameful, brazen dereliction of duty.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is undeniably implicated in Daphne’s assassination even if indirectly. He bears a great responsibility for it and has blood on his hands. He has been aware of Keith Schembri’s and Konrad Mizzi’s 5,000 euros a day Christmas gift from businessman Yorgen Fenech for a long time (we all were), yet did not take any action. Anyone who tolerates or closes an eye to the mere whiff of corruption is corrupt, and a crook.

Yet Muscat remains in office despite the clear danger (and probability) of his obstructing justice to protect his best friend and himself. Muscat has at least six weeks to do that, and to try to arrange for a successor who will be his proxy/puppet when he resigns.

The Police Commissioner does not seem to think that Joseph Muscat should be investigated.

Keith Schembri, the disgraced former prime minister’s chief of staff is comfortably holed up in his luxurious home. He should be arrested and investigated for corruption and for his part in Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder. The testimonies by the alleged mastermind of the assassination Yorgen Fenech and by the middleman Melvin Theuma clearly indicate that Schembri did all he could to help Fenech evade justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination. That would make Schembri an accomplice. It was in Schembri’s own interest to protect Fenech. He had (has?) a 5,000 euros a day source of income to protect.

The Police Commissioner does not seem to think that Keith Schembri should be investigated.

Neville Gafa visits Keith Schembri regularly (he seems to have replaced Dr Adrian Vella as Keith Schembri’s preferred carrier pigeon). Gafa has been accused of of criminal activities, including a medical visas racket (in which he is also being accused of having attempted to bribe witnesses) and stalking Daphne Caruana Galizia the day before her assassination. He is also chummy with Libyan warlords, and the post he occupies in the prime minister’s office seems to be one of the most carefully guarded state secrets.

The Police Commissioner does not seem to think that Neville Gafa should be investigated.

Nexia BT partners Brian Tonna and Karl Cini helped Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi set up secret companies designed to hide illicit payments and gains. They enabled criminality and corruption. They should be facing disciplinary actions from the accountancy boards as well as intense scrutiny and investigation by law enforcement agencies But this is not happening. What is happening is that the government awards them millions of euros of direct orders every year.

The Police Commissioner does not seem to think that Brian Tonna and Karl Cini should be investigated.

For the United Nations (UN), the rule of law is

a principle of governance in which all persons, institutions and entities, public and private, including the State itself, are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced and independently adjudicated, and which are consistent with international human rights norms and standards. It requires measures to ensure adherence to the principles of supremacy of the law, equality before the law, accountability to the law, fairness in the application of the law, separation of powers, participation in decision-making, legal certainty, avoidance of arbitrariness, and procedural and legal transparency.

For Malta rule of law is non existent as it has been replaced by its antithesis, impunity, and will remain so as long as there are people who are above the law.

No, it’s not ok for MPs to hold posts in the executive

The legislative makes the laws; the executive implements them; and the judiciary oversees them. As with all other democracies, in Malta there are checks and balances between these three pillars. This separation of powers is in effect so that no part of government becomes limitless and totalitarian in such a way as to harm democracy. This separation of powers, along with a system of checks and balances and the rule of law, ensures that, before the law, everyone is treated equally. It also ensures that everyone is bestowed the protection ordained by law.

This is what is on a Malta government website that gives a synopsis of how the Maltese state functions.

So why the principal secretary Mario Cutajar felt it necessary and incumbent on himself to ask Prof Ian Refalo for a legal opinion as to whether it’s ok for government backbenchers to hold jobs in the executive when this constitutes a clear breach of the doctrine of separation of powers is perplexing.

Prof Ian Refalo concluded that there is no problem with government backbenchers holding executive positions since such appointments did not break any laws.

Prof Ian Refalo’s arguments were efficiently and effectively put paid to by Prof Kevin Aquilina, who pointed out that even if something is legal, it does not mean that it conforms to the spirit and intent of the constitution.

“Laws which do not respect good government are in themselves unconstitutional.”

Consequently, he [Prof Aquilina] insisted that the appointment of MPs to carry out executive functions such as chairing corporate bodies or acting as government advisors through administrative practice was “inconsistent” with the Constitution.

Also, these appointments are in effect ‘positions of trust”, notwithstanding the Public Service Commission’s and the Ombudsman’s criticism of this unconstitutional practice as well as that of several top legal experts as well as the Venice Commission.

Since the practice of such appointments goes against the principles of good governance and the spirit and intent of the constitution, they corrupt the Rule of Law.

And Rule of Law is a fundamental requisite for any country that values liberal democracy and a mandatory requisite for membership in the EU.