“Valletta l-oħxon”

In a recording played in court in the proceedings related to Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assasination, a “Valletta l-oħxon” was mentioned. The middleman in the assassination – Melvin Theuma – explained that this was a reference to Silvio Valletta: 

“Mr Fenech used to tell me that Mr Valletta used to pass on information to him.

MelvIn Theuma (middleman in Daphne Caruana galizia assassination) sworn testimony

Silvio Valletta was a deputy commissioner in the Malta Police Force and the chief investigator in the case of the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, till the Caruana Galizia family had him forcibly removed from the investigation by the law courts.

He was the one who set up unprecedented briefings on the investigation with former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his chief of staff Keith Schembri. 

Valletta also sat on the Board of Governors of the Financial Analysis Unit (FIAU), the national central agency in Malta that is responsible for the collection and analysis of information to combat money laundering.

FIAU Board of Governors (photo from 2014 Annual Report)

The Caruana Galizia fought hard to have him removed from the investigation.

The government fought hard to keep him in it…

The Caruana Galizia won the legal battle to have him removed.

It turns out that the Caruana Galizia family were very right to want him removed. Valletta had very close ties with the alleged mastermind (or one of the masterminds) behind the assassination, Yorgen Fenech.

The former deputy police chief Silvio Valletta holidayed abroad with Yorgen Fenech when the business magnate had already been identified by the police as a person of interest in the murder investigation.

They travelled to London together on a business class flight to watch a football match from a private box on September 29th 2018.

Valletta was taken off the case in June 2018; Fenech had been identified as a suspect by May 2018.

Valletta holidayed with Fenech when he knew that Fenech was a person of interest in the investigation into Caruana Galizia assassination case.

The Times also reported that when Mr Valletta travelled abroad with Mr Fenech, the FIAU had just handed police an intelligence report detailing how Mr Fenech, the Electrogas power station director, was the owner of mystery Dubai company 17 Black, which was to pay the then Minister for Energy Konrad Mizzi and the then prime minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri some €5,000 a day each.

We now know that the ex-prime minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri was involved in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

We now know that Valletta, then one rank away from the top job in the police force, was leaking information about the investigation to help those involved evade justice.

Malta IS a Mafia state. It’s impossible not to realise this. And if you think that this has nothing to do with you, you’re very wrong. It does, so don’t look away or sit on the fence.

 

The highest price

Disgraced and discredited Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has repeatedly told us that he has paid “the highest price possible”.

I am not sure what he means by that. To my knowledge, he hasn’t paid a price for his actions (and lack of action) – yet.

He can never pay the “highest price possible”. So far only one person has paid a price, and it will always remain the “highest price possible” – a life senselessly and savagely snuffed out.

As Prime Minister, he had the duty to protect Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Instead he and his minions dehumanised and demonised her, making her fair game for violent elements within the Labour Party and for criminals.

The alleged mastermind (or one of the masterminds) of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination – Yorgen Fenech – was an intimate friend of Muscat.

Muscat even invited Fenech to an intimate, wild birthday party he held at Girgenti which was so exclusive that not even the ministers in his cabinet were invited. The two were that close.

Fenech also gifted Muscat with wines costing thousands of euros as well as a Bvlgari watch costing some €17,000. The two were that intimate.

The other person allegedly highly involved in the assassination calls Muscat his best friend. Keith Schembri was Muscat’s closest collaborator, his chief of staff. He was certainly involved in the corruption that ultimately led to Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination. And Muscat could have stopped that corruption years ago; he knew all about it.

So if Muscat is trying to elicit sympathy or playing the empathy card by playing the martyr, he can go stuff himself. He could have prevented Daphne Caruana Galizia’s death.

Instead he now has her blood on his hands. That will be his legacy, along with the title of “2019 MAN OF THE YEAR IN ORGANIZED CRIME AND CORRUPTION”.

Journalism in the Kingdom of Saudi Malta

Sarah Clarke, Head of Europe and Central Asia for international human rights organisation Article 19, compared Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s interference with the criminal investigation and public inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia to that of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia in the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi The Shift News reported.

This extraordinary situation in Malta bears comparison to the role of Prince Mohammed Bin Salman in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi

Sarah Clarke speaking to the shift news

Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia’s best-known journalist, wrote columns critical of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) in the Washington Post.

He walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on the 2 October 2018 where he had an appointment to collect documents he needed for his forthcoming marriage. He never walked out.

He was brutally slain a few minutes after he walked into the consulate by a 15-man Saudi hit squad who had been flown in two hours prior. He was drugged and asphyxiated, then dismembered and stuffed into bags. His body was never recovered.

Saudi authorities offered a number of very different narratives of what happened to Khashoggi.

First they said Khashoggi had left the consulate by the back door.

Then they said that a fist fight had broken out in the consulate and that Khashoggi died in the punch-up.

The third Saudi lie about the assassination was that it was a rogue operation.

But recorded excerpts of conversation between the key hit men show clearly that the assassination was premeditated and also that there was state involvement in the assassination as well as the subsequent botched cover-up.

Agnes Callamard, the United Nation’s extrajudicial investigator into the murder said in her report that she “determined that there is credible evidence, warranting further investigation of high-level Saudi officials’ individual liability, including the crown prince’s”.

The same words can be said of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination and the investigation into it. All one needs to do is replace “Saudi” with “Malta” and “crown prince” with “prime minister”.

Agnes Callamard’s damning report on the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi bears several striking points of resemblance to the report on the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia drawn up by Mr Pieter Omtzigt and adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). Omtzigt is the Council of Europe rapporteur on the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia and the rule of law in Malta. 

There are an astounding number of similarities in the way the states in both cases operated to cover up several aspects of the assassination including the possible involvement of officials in the highest echelons of government and to hinder the course of justice.

The Caruana Galizia case was assigned to a police official who clearly should never have been involved in the case, as both he and his wife were the subject of Caruana Galizia’s investigations and writings; the police investigation was found to be in breach of human rights by the courts.

The Maltese government consistently refused to hold an independent and impartial inquiry into Caruana Galizia’s assassination, even after this was mandated by the Council of Europe and in spite of pressure from several international organisations.

There is a marked and highly suspicious reluctance by the police commissioner and the attorney general to do their job and duty without fear and favour where people in the higher echelons of the government and/or the Labour party are concerned. As Sarah Clarke put it:

“It’s impossible to overstate the concerns we have that Joseph Muscat remains as Prime Minister, with his involvement and executive power over the Police Commissioner and Attorney General. The revelations of the past few weeks demonstrate that the Prime Minister is totally compromised and cannot remain in charge,” 

Sarah Clarke speaking to the shift news

The testimony given by the mastermind/one of the masterminds of Caruana Galizia’s assassination Yorgen Fenech, that given by middleman Melvin Theuma and the opening statement given by the Caruana Galizia family in the public inquiry clearly indicate a possible involvement of the then prime minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri in some, if not all, of the aspects of Caruana Galizia’s assassination, and of his trading in influence to help those involved in the assassination evade justice.

Joseph Muscat by his own admission meddled in the investigation. He has protected Keith Schembri for several years. Schembri is being implicated in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, in its cover-up, and has been implicated in corruption and bribery for a long time.

The calls for Muscat to resign or be removed must become louder and louder. The calls for Muscat to be hauled in by the police and investigated must become louder and louder.

They must not stop till justice is done and corruption eradicated from Castille.

I encourage people to attend tomorrow’s national protest.

Make your voice heard.

Drain the swamp!

This evening disgraced Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced his resignation (or more accurately his dismissal) in six weeks’ time on national TV.

He then proceeded to give a State of the Union address brimming with triumphalism.

Nothing of what he said had any bearing on the issue which is tearing Malta apart, the mother of all corruption scandals in Malta, which culminated in the barbaric assassination of a journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia. And in which Keith Schembri, his best friend and chief of staff – till a few days ago – is being implicated by one of the alleged masterminds behind the assassination, as well as by a doctor who acted as a carrier pigeon between Schembri and the alleged mastermind.

That’s what needs to be done, Muscat said, referring to his resignation. But that’s not what needs to be done. What needs to be done is that he tenders his resignation effective tomorrow morning. Not in six weeks’ time.

He cannot remain in office, continuing to meddle in the investigation into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia in which Schembri may be involved, potentially obstructing justice to protect his friend.

Muscat has overseen Malta’s transformation into a haven and a heaven for criminals and money launderers. His tenure has been characterised by an unprecedented, incessant stream of corruption scandals.

He has allowed corruption to infiltrate and permeate his office and indeed the whole country. Under his watch, corruption has become the order of the day, and impunity has been normalised.

And Muscat has blood on his hands, because had he acted to stem and address the corruption going on in his office, the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia would not have occurred.

Joseph Muscat needs to go now.

Not in six weeks time.

Free Barabbas

“But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.”

Matt 27:20

History repeats itself, because human nature does not change much. People have chosen Barabbas countless times throughout the centuries.

Konrad Mizzi set up a secret company shortly after his party, the Labour party (PL), was elected in 2013.

When he set up the company, he was the Minister responsible for Energy.

His company was to receive some 5,000 euros DAILY from another secret company called 17 Black.

This is all supported by official documents.

The police commissioner thought that this did not call for an investigation, although the Financial Analysis Intelligence Unit (FIAU) felt strongly otherwise.

The Prime Minister did not believe he should remove Mizzi from office and did not. He chose to protect his friend over integrity.

In 2017 general election was held, and the party to which Konrad Mizzi belongs (PL) won the general election by a landslide victory.

The electorate chose Barabbas. Mizzi, who contested the election, garnered an exceptionally high amount of votes.

This fact that the Labour Party (PL) won by a landslide victory and that Mizzi garned an extremely large number of votes was spun by PL as proof that Konrad Mizzi was innocent of any wrong-doing.

Of course this is pure disinformation.

The rule of law dictates that innocence or guilt are not determined by the number of votes the person amasses in a general election, but by the courts of law.

Those people who believe that Konrad Mizzi’s innocence was proven by the faith the electorate placed in him or in the Labour party are misguided.

Such a belief is belief in “mob rule” rather than in the rule of law.

But the courts of law cannot decide whether a person is innocent or guilty if a person is not prosecuted. And he cannot be prosecuted if he is not investigated.

Consider what Chief Justice Silvio Camilleri (now emeritus) said:

“According to article 346(1) of the Criminal Code it is the duty of the Police to preserve public order and peace, to prevent and to detect and investigate offences, to collect evidence, whether against or in favour of the person suspected of having committed that offence, and to bring the offenders, whether principals or accomplices, before the judicial authorities. If this does not take place justice cannot take its course.”

Last year, Reuters revealed shown that the 5,000 euros daily to be paid to Konrad Mizzi would be coming from Yorgen Fenech, one of the principal investors in the power station built after the 2013 election.

The police commissioner still believed that this did not warrant an investigation into Mizzi’s affairs.

The Prime Minister still did not believe he should remove Mizzi from office and did not. He chose to protect his friend over integrity once again.

The National Audit Office (NAO) found several irregularities in the tendering process.

The tender was awarded to a consortium. Yorgen Fenech’s company accounted for around a third of the consortium.

Last week, Fenech was implicated in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Mizzi was reported as saying he “stands tall” saying he was “offended” by the suggestion that his name would be among those businessman Yorgen Fenech was seeking a pardon to identify according to a report by The Times of Malta.

Mizzi has no reason to stand tall. He has every reason to hang his head in shame.

Mizzi should be thoroughly investigated by the police without fear or favour, and bought to justice.

The police commissioner needs to do his job for a change. If he needs help in understanding what his job is, he needs to read the Police Act.

By not investigating him four years ago, the police commissioner failed to do his duty.

The Prime Minister should stop shielding Mizzi and remove him from office. The fact that he did not makes him an accomplice to Mizzi and an accomplice in Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination.

The time when Barabbas will receive his just deserts is close. Nothing can prevent it from happening.

I smell a rat

Yorgen Fenech was apprehended by the police as he is a “person of interest” in the investigation on Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination (a long overdue step). He was intercepted as he was allegedly trying to abscond from the Maltese islands.

There is something odd about a person who chooses to abscond in a massive boat departing from a marina full of CCTV cameras with the transponder of his boat on, and who is intercepted by the police at sea when he could have easily been apprehended on land.

He has been in the media often in the last few months, since Reuters had revealed that he had set up a secret company called 17 Black that he was going to use to pay Keith Schembri, the prime minister’s chief of staff, and Konrad Mizzi – at the time the Minister responsible for Energy – each the princely sum of some 5,000 euros a day.

Schembri and Mizzi had both set up secret companies to use to receive these payments. Their secret companies were both set up at the same time, by the same financial practitioner (Nexia BT), in the same jurisdiction (Panama), both hidden behind a trust in New Zealand.

Schembri and Mizzi both denied any links to 17 Black, and they claimed that they were not aware of who the owner of 17 Black. It is highly unusual for someone not to know the name of a person who is about to give you 5,000 euros a day.

17 Black received a very large amount of money – presumably to be used to pay Mizzi and Schembri – from an account in Latvia controlled by a person (a proxy) from Azerbaijan. The person behind the proxy is still unknown. However Yorgen Fenech does have a connection with Azerbaijan; he is in business with SOCAR, a company owned by the state of Azerbaijan in the company Electrogas Ltd., which following a questionable tendering process was awarded a tender to supply Malta’s energy needs.

Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri also have links to Azerbaijan.

The Malta Police Commissioner Lorry Cutajar (who had expressed great admiration for the Prime Minister’s testicles on social media) had not found any of this to be suspicious, and a good reason to investigate either Keith Schembri or Konrad Mizzi. Nor did he deem it necessary to investigate other financial transactions involving them flagged by the FIAU as highly suspicious. Was he under some kind of pressure not to investigate them?

The Prime Minister and his entourage repeat continually the mantra that there are magisterial inquiries on these matters going on, and that no-one should jump to conclusions before the outcome of these inquiries is known. It is hardly likely that the conclusions of these inquiries will ever be known, seeing that Mizzi, Schembri et al try to block all of them in court.

In any case, this is bullshit. Magisterial inquiries may take several years to be concluded, as magistrates 1) are too busy for inquiries 2) are not well resourced for inquiries and have to rely on the police (the executive) for much of the work, which means that they are not independent as they depend 3) are not trained to investigate.

It should also be pointed out that the magistrate passes on the results of the inquiry to the attorney general, who has complete discretion on which – if any – parts of the inquiry he will divulge, and to whom, and on whether he should act on the inquiring magistrate’s conclusions. In these matters, he does not owe anyone an explanation, there is absolutely no accountability.

Criminals need to launder their illicit gains to enjoy the fruits of their crimes. Are Fenech’s various businesses including his casino being investigated for possible financial or economic crimes and money laundering activities? Or is it business as usual in all the commercial operations in which Fenech was involved (including the Portomaso Casino where it seems the three killers contracted to kill Daphne Caruana Galizia habitually laundered the proceeds of their illicit gains unfettered)?

We must be the only country in the world where the Prime Minister is also the de facto Police Commissioner. Why is the Prime Minister speaking about the investigation and not the Police Commissioner? The Prime Minister should not be involved in the investigation in any way, he should not know what is going on and he should not be the spokesperson on the matter; that is the the remit of the Police Commissioner and his alone. This actually proves the point that our institutions are not independent.

Last but not least let us not forget that if is proven that Fenech is a criminal and the person or one of the persons who masterminded Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination, he did not act alone. Accountants and/or lawyers helped him set up the structures enabling him to carry out his crimes. Individuals in the higher echelons of power shielded him. And many questions remain unanswered.

Justice will only be served when ALL the people who were involved in any way in Daphne’s assassination are behind bars. And we will not rest till this happens.