March 28, 2016

Malta is shaken by Daphne Caruana Galizia’s exclusive news story which reveals that Joseph Muscat’s chief of staff, who is also his best friend, together with star minister, Konrad Mizzi, have secret companies in Panama. They have been set up for them by the Muscat’s accountant Brian Tonna. Subsequent Panama Papers leaks by the ICIJ result in politicians resigning the world over. Not in Malta though. Muscat frowns, blushes and brushes it off. He stands by his men because “there is no evidence”.

April 20, 2017

Caruana Galizia writes that another secret Panama company, Egrant, also set up by Tonna and which belongs to somebody very important, allegedly belongs to the prime minister’s wife. Muscat frowns, blushes, says “there is no evidence”. He sets off his army of trolls and his media to dehumanise the journalist.

April 24, 2017

Caruana Galizia reports that Muscat’s bestie chief of staff took kickbacks from the sale of the Labour government’s golden passports scheme. The police do nothing. They do not want to “intrude” on Schembri’s affairs.

Parallel whistle-blower leaks mean that the evidence reaches the opposition party. And the evidence that the police are pretending does not exist, is beyond shocking: Keith Schembri, Muscat’s chief of staff and best friend, had allegedly received an illicit €100,000 from Tonna in kickbacks.

The opposition leader - my partner - who had never imagined that fighting Mafia would be part of his remit, takes the decision to request a magisterial inquiry and to publish the evidence.

A week later, Muscat says that “There is no evidence”, and calls a very early general election.

May 17, 2017

The opposition reveals that Schembri, Muscat’s chief of staff and best friend, had passed on €650,000 in kickbacks to Adrian Hillman, the former managing director of this newspaper, with the payments for “editorial services”. 

The evidence is packed away in eight, dark-grey, box files and the opposition leader presents it in court. Muscat again says that “there is no evidence”.

The non-descript box files full of unequivocally damning evidence lie on the desk in Magistrate Josette Demicoli’s chambers – she will be opening them to study the contents.

Alternative history: May 2017

Muscat locks himself in his office and reads all the published evidence. He vomits. Then he calls Schembri to his office: this was his chief of staff, whom till now he has proudly called his right-hand man and best friend.  He unceremoniously strips him of his role, picks up his direct line phone to the Police Commissioner and asks for the man in front of him to be arrested on the spot.

He walks down the corridors of Castille, asks his staff to organise a press conference and immediately announces his own resignation, claiming full political responsibility for the rampant corruption in his own government, headed by his own chief of staff. The party elects another leader and keeps on governing for another two years before an election is called. Caruana Galizia is offered protection, the Electrogas deal is investigated and Mizzi and Yorgen Fenech join Schembri in jail.

The Gasans issue a PR saying they hadn’t realised they were involved and everyone rolls their eyes and sniggers.

The real history: May 2017

Muscat reads all the published evidence. Upon reading it, he calls Schembri, his chief of staff – his right-hand man and his best friend – to his office. “Aw, my friend,” says Muscat. “Rest assured I decide what happens to you and not the cabinet, sieħbi.”

He then proceeds to unleash hell on the country in order to protect the criminal devil beside him. In the meantime, his trolls follow in a trance jeering, cocking snooks: “The boxes are empty!”; “There is no evidence!”; “Ha ha ha!”  The election reconfirms the corrupt in power.

By October, Caruana Galizia is working on a story about the Electrogas corrupt deal which involves Malta’s Schembri, Fenech and the Gasans.

Muscat’s inner circle of friends laugh, drink and fornicate – it’s a government of decadence and debauchery. Muscat even gets a tattoo on his arm saying ‘Invictus’, which he admires every time he lords over attacks of the opposing voices. It is the land of impunity.

And then Daphne is killed.

Why did Muscat cover up for Schembri? It can’t have been lack of judgement because he had the evidence right in front of him.

It can’t have been out of friendship loyalty, because when you’re in such a position of power, the country has to come before your friends. Was he blackmailed? Was he part of it?

These are questions that we need to ask. But the most crucial question we have to ask is: was Muscat complicit in Schembri’s crime?

Muscat as Public Officer Number 1 paid from our taxes, and by virtue of his prime ministerial office, had the prime duty to keep watch and to repress any illegal offence.

According to the Maltese Criminal Code, when a public officer – including a prime minister – turns a blind eye, then he is one degree more guilty than the person who commits the actual crime.

If Schembri’s arrest and asset freezing had taken place when it should have – in April 2017 – Daphne would still be alive.

Instead, Muscat, who consciously turned a blind eye, is still in parliament .

Caruana Galizia’s death is not only the political responsibility but also the criminal responsibility of Muscat.

Not only must he be kicked out of the Labour party parliamentary group but he must be investigated now.


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