Evarist Bartolo highlights dangers of freemasonry, says people right in demanding full transparency

In an early morning Facebook post, the Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo speaks about dangers of freemasonry, criminal webs and the need for people to demand functioning institutions  

Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo has spoken about free masonry and criminal networks in the aftermath of new revelations involving Macbridge
Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo has spoken about free masonry and criminal networks in the aftermath of new revelations involving Macbridge

Evarist Bartolo has highlighted the dangers and impact of free masonry and criminal webs on democratic societies in a cryptic Facebook post following the latest damning revelations involving people close to the Labour government.

The Foreign Minister's musings come after an international journalistic investigation revealed how the Chinese negotiator Chen Cheng in the purchase of Enemalta shares by Shanghai Electric received money from Yorgen Fenech's 17 Black. Chen Cheng also set up a Hong Kong-based company, Macbridge, which had been identified as a target client for Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi's Panama companies.

Bartolo recalled how back in the 1990s, he had questioned former prime minister Eddie Fenech Adami whether he deems it right that freemasons should occupy public roles like those within the judiciary.  

Bartolo said that he had been threatened by members of a masonic lodge after writing on the issue at the time.

Il-jum it-tajjeb. Il-mazunerija, l-akbar ghaqda sigrieta fid-dinja, ilha li bdiet fostna mis-sena 1730. X’jaghmlu...

Posted by Evarist Bartolo on Monday, March 29, 2021

“There have been masonic lodges that had magistrates, police, lawyers and criminals who worked together so that a crime is covered and the guilty party is not caught,” he said.  

He expressed concern that powerful people in society are still enrolled with masonic lodges. “You have people from sectors like the judiciary, law, politics, business, doctors, police, education and banking, who are enrolled in the same secret society who call themselves brothers and promise to protect each other.” 

He said it is understandable for people to demand full transparency from government and public authorities “to understand better the decisions being taken.”  

“Because if within the same masonic lodge, you have members who decide for their masonic brothers while investigating a murder, handing down sentences, public contracts, giving loans, and handing down promotions... who wins: the law and regulation which make us equal, or the masonic regulation which gives advantage to their members?” the minister said.  

On Monday, Bartolo also took to Facebook, stating that as governments come and go, “power networks that nobody votes for, remain the same.” 

“People in strategic positions weave webs that bring together politicians, businessmen, lawyers, notaries and accountants. All these people work together where it suits them,” he said.  

He said that if institutions do not take these individuals seriously, they will live on and become more powerful than government.  

“While the criminal webs are united, those who fight against them often do this separately and tear each other apart,” he said.  

Elections come and go. Governments come and go. But certain power networks that nobody votes for, ever, remain the same...

Posted by Evarist Bartolo on Monday, March 29, 2021

“Independence, the Republic, the closing of military bases, neutrality, the creation of a new economy, no longer there to serve the foreign forces amongst us, Malta’s entry into the European Union, the growth of social services, of education and of health…. All were great dreams with which we built our country on solid rock over the years,” Bartolo said. “But we can lose all this if we allow the hidden webs of informal and illegal power to win over the political parties, the country’s institutions…this fair land.” 

Malta-China Bridge  

On Monday it was revealed that Chen Cheng, a senior executive for Accenture, a global consultancy firm, used relatives to set up two firms in Hong Kong.  

The first of the companies set up by the Chen family, known as Macbridge, planned to pay up to $2 million to Panama firms controlled by Mizzi and Schembri. It was listed as a target client alongside 17 Black, which was revealed to be owned by Yorgen Fenech. 

The second Chen company was called Dow’s Media Company, and the investigation revealed how it received €1 million from 17 Black. 

Police investigators believed Macbridge was an acronym that stands for ‘Malta And China Bridge’. 

According to international legal requests seen by Reuters, Maltese law enforcement officials suspect that Macbridge and Dow’s Media were part of an elaborate scheme, involving some participants in the China-Malta deals, to make payments to politicians in Malta and siphon off profits for themselves. 

READ ALSO: Chinese negotiator in Enemalta deal is revealed as man behind secretive Macbridge

Bartolo has been a critical voice within the Labour Party since the Panama Papers, however along with other Labour MPs stopped short of voting against Mizzi and Schembri when motions of no confidence were put forward in parliament.

He had called for Mizzi to resign at the time.

Testifying in the Daphne Caruana Galizia public inquiry, Bartolo had said that Muscat's government had a "kitchen cabinet" where certain decisions were taken.