In my career as an MEP, I have been lied about and threatened as often as the government’s propaganda channels go for broadcast or as frequently as their acolytes grab hold of a microphone.

But the attacks of late betray something more insidious than mere partisan exchanges.

The prime minister’s virulent monologue was the final confirmation that this is not an electoral campaign any more than it is a vicious attack to demonise opponents as enemies of the State – and not just political opponents.

For doing its job, that is, detecting and prosecuting crime, the prime minister abandoned any pretence to statesmanship and launched a bitter tirade against a magistrate, whose independence ought to be guaranteed as a fundament of any democracy worth its mettle.

When Robert Abela addressed the press conference at Castille on May 6, you would be forgiven for thinking he was Joseph Muscat’s defence lawyer. And, surely, that is precisely how he wanted to sound to Labour’s core. Undoubtedly, it was an effort to mitigate the fallout from Muscat’s feeling betrayed that his successor government could not scupper efforts at holding him criminally accountable.

This is an outrageous state of affairs. And I will use all my strength to ensure that there will be consequences for the illegitimate interference with our judiciary.

In a normal democracy, Muscat and anyone else implicated in the daylight robbery of our nation – a fraudulent deal which has already been confirmed as such by our courts – would be, at the very least, exiled as far away from politics as one could get.

Instead, the Labour Party in government has committed to a hostile campaign to attack me and the work Roberta Metsola and I have done in the European Parliament to defend the rule of law in Malta and secure justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Castille’s spin is that I want to declare war on Labourites. What utter hogwash!

If international scrutiny was concerned with finding the systemic weaknesses in our political and legal system to better our country, then our quarrel is with the criminal cabal that has exploited those weaknesses to seize control over State institutions, to bludgeon them into submission so that those who pigged out off the backs of the Maltese would never have to worry about consequences.

Abela may have given assurances that those consequences would never come close to those who continue to have a hold on his party. But, on May 6, they did. And now it is my colleagues and I who are the targets of a campaign branding us traitors.

This is not because I have been accused of any crime  but because I have strived to do my job in defending the electorate, the institutions that, despite intense pressure, continue to secure an inkling of democratic rule and the journalists who, despite a State captured by criminal interests, continue to hold them accountable for their wrongdoing.

For this, I am branded a traitor and accused of working against my own country.

It should be clear at this point to the Labour government that I owe no allegiance to a corrupt government, not least one that was found responsible for creating the culture of impunity that enabled the assassination of Caruana Galizia and one that is aggressively resisting that any accountability should be delivered for the corruption she was killed for exposing.

The prime minister abandoned any pretence to statesmanship and launched a bitter tirade against a magistrate- David Casa

When I urged the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen to pay attention to the rule of law situation in Malta back in October I did so because I did not want an already fraught situation to degenerate further past a point of no return.

This point was, in truth, already reached in 2017 when Caruana Galizia’s life was taken in a political assassination that was the culmination of years and years of attack after attack for her work exposing massive corruption that still grips government seven years later.

It is a point we are on the verge of once again as of May 6, when Abela accused swathes of our country of injustice and treachery even though it was his former boss and cabinet colleagues who had been accused in court of engineering the biggest fraud in Maltese history.

Among the flurry of accusations against me by the Labour government is the claim that I am the European face of the elusive ‘establishment’ – an absurd fiction that provided the one thing Abela needs to be effective: an enemy, an enemy so nebulous and all-powerful that all manner of consequences for the Labour Party can be blamed on it.

It reminds me of Alfred Sant a few years back, claiming that the European Parliament, including the Socialists, continues to vote overwhelmingly against the corrupt Labour government as a result of my powers in the dark arts.

In his infamous press conference, Abela accused me of something quite specific. He suggested I opposed Chris Fearne’s nomination to the European Commission back in January because I had access to the inquiry and knew what it would say.

That is obviously absolute nonsense.

Back in January, I was actually quite prudent and only said that he would have difficult questions to answer. He was, after all, in charge of Malta’s health sector while a massive fraud was allowed to continue on his watch.

Now, of course, I can more clearly declare that Fearne has a better chance of contesting and winning the Eurovision Song Contest than getting in the European Commission.

There was a perception of integrity associated with people like Fearne and Edward Scicluna.

That they compromised themselves to secure their position while the Maltese people were being robbed blind is no one’s fault but their own.

They should channel their former selves and understand that their stubbornly clinging to their positions now will only end badly for them and worse for the country they serve.

David Casa is a Nationalist Party MEP.

This article was written before Chris Fearne’s resignation from the government.

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