During the last two days a delegation of the European Parliament has visited Malta in a fact finding mission on the rule of law in Malta. The delegation followed the brutal murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia and the implication of members of the government in the Panama Papers without any consequences or prosecutions. The European Parliament has sent the delegation after doubts have been expressed over the rule of law in Malta in a plenary resolution mentioning even Art. 7 EUV concerns.
Sven Giegold, co-initiator of the delgation and spokespersons of the Greens/EFA in the PANA inquiry committee comments on the results:
“The delegation of the Parliament came seriously concerned over the rule of law in Malta and left even more worried. We learnt a great deal, gathered important evidence and were promised even more.
The police and the attorney general have demonstrated an unwillingness to investigate and failure to prosecute corruption and money laundering. Publically available information and even reports by Malta’s anti-money laundering body FIAU have repeatedly not triggered investigations. Individuals and financial institutions involved were not searched, evidence not gathered. This protected high government officials such as prime minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri and minister Konrad Mizzi from prosecution as well as financial instiutions such as Pilatus Bank and Nexia BT.
Furthermore, Malta’s judiciary system has demonstrated systemic problems rooted in Malta’s constitution. The separation of powers between the judiciary and the government is insufficient. The power of the prime minister to appoint top officials has weakened the judicial system and financial supervision.
A former member of staff of Malta’s anti-money laundering unit FIAU Jonathan Ferris has provided important evidence. He fears for his personal security. Ferris deserves whistleblower status and full police protection for himself and his family.
The delegation has agreed to work together on a mission report which will include recommendations and a continued dialogue with the EU commission in the run up to an Art. 7 procedure.”