Phone call from the Ministry

The driving licence racket unveiled in Court earlier this week is extremely disturbing. This is being stated in view of the sensitive information indicated in the testimony heard so far in Court but the details of which are still under wraps. The case involves corruption in driving theory tests.

Three men have so far been arraigned: the Director for Land Transport at Transport Malta and two other Transport Malta officers one of whom is a Żebbuġ Local Councillor elected on behalf of the Labour Party.

It was revealed in Court that the accused, when interrogated, had justified their actions by emphasising that they were under constant “political” pressure. The senior among the accused complained that he felt pressured as he was getting continuous calls from various Ministries.

The police have revealed, in the testimony so far, that a mobile phone in their possession has “revealed chats with people linked to a political party”. No further official information is available as to the identity of this political party.  It is definitely not ADPD!

Someone having access to the mobile phone data has however indirectly revealed on social media the reason why the police have been cautious in revealing the names of those involved in this racket. It seems that the Police have realised that these names, once revealed, could cause a political earthquake the likes of which we have never seen. According to the unofficial information circulating online, the names of at least four current members of the Cabinet as well as two former ones have been so far identified as being possibly involved in the racket being investigated. Apparently, most of the Ministries’ Chief of Staff as well as a number of Members of Parliament may also have a finger in the pie.

Apparently in a Transport Malta office used by one of the accused, the police, during their investigations came across two diaries containing substantial information consisting of names, ID card numbers and dates when the persons benefitting from the irregularities under investigation were due to sit for their theoretical driving exams. The persons indicated were apparently “helped” in order to ensure that they were successful.

One of the accused is being defended by the shadow minister for Home Affairs, Dr Joe Giglio, a lawyer with an extensive criminal law practice. It is extremely unethical for members of parliament to involve themselves in such cases. His defence of clients accused with involvement in corruption is incompatible with his political actions against corruption in the political arena. He cannot be credible if he runs with the hares and then tries hunting with the hounds. He is severely denting his own credibility. Apparently, he has not learnt anything from his experiences as the legal advisor of Pilatus Bank.

This racket brings two basic issues to the fore.

Why are the Police (so far) withholding information on the holders of political office involved? The cryptic language used by the Police Inspector in Court this week transmits this basic message. Isn’t it about time that law enforcement does not treat the members of the Cabinet and their hangers-on with kids’ gloves?

When will all members of Parliament cut themselves free from the restraints of their professional practices or their previous employment? As ADPD has repeatedly proposed over the years, we need a full time Parliament as soon as possible.  It is only in this way that parliament can be credible and possibly effective.

published in The Malta Independent on Sunday: 4 September 2022

L-imġieba ta’ Konrad u ta’ Keith tal-Kasko

Standards in Public Life Bill

Waqt li għaddejja l-argumenti dwar il-kumpaniji ta’ Konrad Mizzi u Keith Schembri tal-Kasco fil-Panama tajjeb li nħarsu ftit lejn l-aġenda tal-Parlament.

Fiha hemm item pendenti bl-isem ta’ abbozz ta’ liġi dwar l-Istandards fil-ħajja pubblika. Dan l-abbozz ta’ liġi japplika għall-membri parlamentari [bħal Konrad Mizzi] u għal persuni impjegati in a position of trust [bħal Keith Schembri tal-Kasco].

Il-Gvern ilu kwazi sentejn ikaxkar saqajh dwar din il-liġi għax minkejja li kien hemm qbil unanimu dwarha fis-Select Committee, din baqgħet fuq l-ixkaffa.

Kieku Joseph Muscat serju u verament jemmen dak li qed jgħid, kieku din il-liġi ilha approvata.

Kieku l-liġi dwar l-istandards fil-ħajja pubblika ġiet approvata diġa inħatar Kummissarju għall-Istandards fil-Ħajja Pubblika li għada it-Tnejn kien jibgħat għal Konrad u Keith Schembri tal-Kasco u jitlobhom spjegazzjoni dettaljata dwar il-kumpanija tagħhom fil-Panama u jiftaħ investigazzjoni immedjatament.

Imma kieku …………. jibqa’ kieku ………….. għax Joseph u l-Partit Laburista fil-Gvern għadhom qed ikaxkru saqajhom.

L-Onorevoli

Arlogg tal lira 2

L-Onorevoli jingħaraf mill-imġieba tiegħu mhux minn kemm jissejjaħ Onorevoli.

Il-mozzjoni ta’ l-Opposizzjoni li tressqet fil-Parlament iktar kmieni  din il-ġimgħa hi għaldaqstant flokha meta teżiġi li jkun hemm min jissorvelja li l-Onorevoli jġibu ruħhom b’mod denju ta’ isimhom.

l-Onorevoli ġieli jagħmlu żbalji kbar u xi drabi jagħmlu żbalji żgħar ukoll!

Bħal meta jkun hemm min jinsa’ jiddikjara xi kont bankarju kemm f’Malta, fi Brussels inkella fl-Iżvizzera. Kollha jgħidu li  jkun żball ġenwin. Teħduhiex bi kbira li bosta drabi ma jkun żball xejn.

Kellna ukoll membri parlamentari  li repetutament ma ippreżentawx id-dikjarazzjoni annwali tad-dħul u l-assi tagħhom.  Dan mhux żball. L-anqas traskuraġni.

Li l-Membri Parlamentari kif ukoll il-membri tal-Kabinett kull sena jippreżentaw dikjarazzjoni tad-dħul u l-assi tagħhom hemm skop speċifiku warajha: biex kull wieħed mill-Membri Parlamentari jagħti kont ta’ egħmilu.

Allura min ma jippreżentax id-dikjarazzjoni jrid iwieġeb u jispjega għaliex. Jekk jipprova jaħbi tista’ tiġih agħar. L-istess min jagħmel dikjarazzjoni bin-nieqes jew dikjarazzjoni żbaljata.

Diġa kellna diversi każijiet bħal dawn. Bħalma kellna min aċċetta rigali li ma kellux jaċċetta: mhux biss l-arloġġ tal-lira imma ukoll il-vjaġġ ma nies tal-business biex jara lill-Arsenal jilgħabu logħba futball!

Kellna ukoll min messu waqaf mill-prattka tal-professjoni tiegħu għax sar Ministru jew Segretarju Parlamentari u ma waqafx.

In-nuqqas ta’ Membru Parlamentari jew ta’ membru tal-Kabinett li jimxi mar-regoli hi xi ħaġa serja ħafna.  Din l-imġieba ma fiha xejn Onorevoli, u min jagħmilha jeħtieġ li jibda jerfa’ l-konsegwenzi.

Kif ippubblikat fuq iNews, it-Tlieta 1 t’Ottubru 2013