TSCF rings the alarm bell concerning corruption and government abuse in Malta

  • Having regard to:

– the resolution of the European Parliament of 10.11.2017 on fundamental rights in Malta, stating that the independence of law enforcement and the judiciary in Malta is dubious.

– the Panama Papers and Malta Files revelations made by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the European Investigative Collaborations network, which revealed that 714 companies linked to Malta are listed in the Panama Papers database and that a government minister, a Prime Minister chief of staff and high-ranking officials were involved. While confidential reports of the FIAU (Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit) concluded that there is reasonable suspicion of money laundering concerning a government official.

  • Whereas:

– various reports point to a lack of media independence toward government in Malta.

– public companies created a large number of jobs in a few weeks before the June 2017 elections, which raises concerns as to whether this was done for electoral motives.

– a car bomb attack killed the Maltese anti-corruption investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia  on 16 October 2017. This led to street protests claiming for justice, government accountability, and respect for civil freedom and the rule of law.

– the same year, a court issued precautionary warrants to a libel case brought by a government minister and freezed Ms Caruana Galizia bank accounts, before the outcome of the case had been reached.

– the Malta Government created an individual Investor program in 2014 which literally sells EU citizenship to third-party nationals at a price of 650,000 euros; a leaked FIAU report raised concerns about possible corruption in the administration of this program.

  • TSCF:

– calls for a better protection of investigative journalists and whistleblowers.

– condemns the politicization of the judiciary and law enforcement.

– condemns any blows to the freedom of the media.

– reminds that Citizenship is not a product that governments can sell against a charge.

– urges governments to purge their law from anti-democratic elements such as precautionary warrants or other potentially arbitrary procedures.

– calls for the empowerment of independent media and civil society to keep government under control.