‘We’re done waiting’: Repubblika threatens to resume anti-corruption protest

‘Robert Abela is only Prime Minister because we took to the streets and ousted his predecessor’ - Repubblika

Repubblika President Robert Aquilina
Repubblika President Robert Aquilina

While threatening to resume protests, Repubblika are calling on government to publish all contracts signed by government from 2013 onwards.

"If you're committed to removing Malta from the FATF greylist, do this with facts, not words," Repubblika President Robert Aquilina said during a press conference on Malta.

Aquilina fleshed out some of Repubblika's concerns on the current political situation, most of which centred around the FATF greylisting.

"Prime Minister Robert Abela tried to trick the public into thinking that the blame is everyone's except his own or of his clique. In fact, the Prime Minister expected us to praise him for how much he's working," Aquilina said.

He offered a similar criticism to the Police Commissioner Angelo Gafà, who said that the police corps passed FATF scrutiny "with flying colours".

"You hear them speak, and you start to think that there's some prestige in being on this grey list," Aquilina remarked.

He mentioned recent controversies surrounding Rosianne Cutajar, the former parliamentary secretary who resigned from her position pending a standards investigation into a property transaction she brokered with Yorgen Fenech.

The investigation concluded last week, with the Standards Commissioner determining that Cutajar breached ethics when receiving a brokerage fee and not declaring it in her ministerial declaration.

While the brokerage fee was from Joseph Camilleri, the transcripts provided in the report delve into Cutajar's close relationship with Yorgen Fenech, who has since been charged with masterminding the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

"Now that the report from Commissioner Hyzler shows more openly how close Rosianne Cutajar and Yorgen Fenech are, Robert Abela doesn't even have the decency to dismiss her from his parliamentary group," Aquilina said.

He went on to refer a recent debacle whereby Cutajar distributed small goodie bags of oranges to elderly residents in the Smartcare Dar Pinto home in Qormi, her hometown.

"The bags she gives include four oranges and a photo, but the bags she receives have cash in them, not oranges," he commented, referring to reports that Cutajar received the €46,500 brokerage fee in cash and in a small bag.

Aquilina mentioned Edward Scicluna, the former finance minister who now sits as Central Bank Governor, and appealed for him to be properly investigated by police. Scicluna currently faces a magisterial inquiry over the infamous Vitals deal.

"And what about those contracts that Joseph Muscat and Robert Abela always kept hidden, and allowed them to be published with a type of censorship typical of someone trying to hide something?" he questioned.

"Robert Abela, show us that you and your clique have nothing to hide. In their entirety, publish all contracts that were signed by government from 2013 till now."

On Gafà, Aquilina reminded the public that the Police Commissioner had publicly said that prosecutions will soon take place in relation to some important cases.

"Everyone understood that he was talking about Pilatus Bank, and he didn't deny this. A year has passed, we've heard many excuses on these delays, and nothing materialised."

"The only prosecutions we saw in our Courts took place because of a magisterial inquiry requested by Simon Busuttil," Aquilina said, instigating a wave of cheer from the crowd at the press conference.

"How could Robert Abela convince the FATF that everything is fine in Malta when right now, as we are talking, Konrad Mizzi and Rosianne Cutajar, members of the highest institution of our country, are in this building?" he said, standing outside the Parliament building.

Aquilina concluded his speech by threatening to resume with their protests. The last protest carried out by Repubblika saw Rosianne Cutajar resign as parliamentary secretary the following day.

"We must remind Robert Abela that he is only Prime Minister because we took to the streets and ousted his predecessor," he said. "If you only listen to us through the sound of protests, we will make you listen to the sound of protests."