Former FIAU official Jonathan Ferris, who claims he has information of corruption reaching the very top, will not be given official whistleblower protection, it emerged on Saturday.

The External Whistleblower Unit said Mr Ferris's request would not be accepted because he had “failed to act in line with the dispositions of Protection of the Whistleblower Act”.

Mr Ferris had filed a judicial protest against Philip Massa, responsible for the unit, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, Justice Minister Owen Bonnici and the Attorney General, saying the unit had repeatedly moved the goalposts to derail his application for whistleblower protection.

Both the Prime Minister and Dr Bonnici denied being the appropriate defendants in the matter.

Without the protection, Mr Ferris could face a five-year jail-term and a €100,000 fine for blowing the whistle on any corruption he may have witnessed during his time at the FIAU.

Mr Ferris told MEPs in November he had left the police force with regret, because of “direct interference” by the government in his work. 

Read: Sacked FIAU investigator seeks whistleblower protection

In the protest, Mr Ferris’ lawyers say the former investigator has information about corruption, abuse of power and money laundering which took place over the past few years and was still taking place.

He claims he had been fired because he had dug too deep in his investigations into government corruption allegations. Mr Ferris insists that the termination of his employment was illegal and abusive and the result of ministerial interference.

Mr Ferris' legal team expressed "polite disdain" for the government's "repetition of their stonewalling tactics", in direct contrast to the way they had spoken to the MEPs.

“Mr Ferris will not be stopping here,” they promised.


Institutionalised omerta - CSN

In a statement, the Civil Society Network said the decision is another proof that the public authorities do not want to shed light on the grave allegations of criminal offences committed over the past years concerning members of the government and individuals associated to it.

"CSN regrets to note that, more than ever before, in Malta there exists an insitutionalised omertà." 

The pressure group said the news of the arrest of the Pilatus Bank chairman, as well as of the investigation of an employee of the office of the Prime Minister regarding theft from Daphne Caruana Galizia's memorial, shows there is a great attempt not only to brush off allegations of serious crimes but to cancel the slain journalist's memory. 

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