Simon Busuttil decries ‘total collapse in rule of law’

Simon Busuttil warns of 'total collapse in rule of law' after ex-FIAU official says police had failed to register reports that had implicated Keith Schembri

tim_diacono
Tim Diacono
17 July 2017, 9:15pm
Simon Busuttil is not going gently into that good night...
Simon Busuttil is not going gently into that good night...
Outgoing PN leader Simon Busuttil warned that the rule of law in Malta has totally collapsed and that the Prime Minister’s calls for national unity are nothing but “empty words”.

In a speech in Parliament, Busuttil warned that the law isnt equal for everyone – noting that the police have not yet pressed charges against education minister Evarist Bartolo’s former canvasser Edward Caruana and against Labour’s ex secretary general Jimmy Magro, who were both implicated in corruption.

He zeroed in on a recent interview by veteran investigator Jonathan Ferris, who was recently fired from the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU), who had claimed that he had been sidelined from the anti-money laundering agency.

In the interview, which Busuttil described as "explosive", Ferris said that the police had failed to follow procedure and register FIAU reports that raised suspicions of money laundering by the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri.

“The FIAU told the police to investigate Schembri for money laundering in at least three reports, but the police didn’t even register them,” he said. “Meanwhile, the police inspector responsible was promoted to superintendent and then to assistant commissioner, while Ferris was kicked out for doing his duty.”

Busuttil pledged that he will not allow the election result to dampen his resolve in fighting government corruption, arguing that a victory for Labour at the polls doesn’t absolve its wrongdoing.

He said that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s post-election calls for national unity are nothing but empty words - proven by several “vindictive” transfers in the civil service and a “gross imbalance” in national broadcasting.

Moreover, the outgoing PN leader accused the government of using public funds for propoganda purposes – such as how the justice ministry had paid for a back-page L-Orizzont advert of minister Owen Bonnici in the run-up to the election.

“A government that truly wants national unity cannot continue treating people like this…Do you think the many Maltese citizens who didn’t vote for the Labour Party were pleased that their taxes were spent on a full-page advert of Owen Bonnici’s face?”