Bernard Grech condemns government MPs for defending Mizzi and Zammit Lewis

Opposition efforts to take action against Konrad Mizzi and Edward Zammit Lewis were repeatedly shot down by government in parliament

Opposition leader Bernard Grech lambasted government MPs on Wednesday for regularly defending Konrad Mizzi and Edward Zammit Lewis, despite several reports on their close relationship with murder mastermind Yorgen Fenech.

“How can it be that the Minister for Justice and Good Governance, a government minister, was communicating in an intimate way with an alleged criminal,” he said of Zammit Lewis.

Grech said that the major shortcoming didn’t come from the minister alone, but from all government MPs who kept defending him after he was caught to be texting Yorgen Fenech so intimately.

“How can you be a minister, a public official taking decisions in government, with sensitive information about government operations in your ministry and cabinet, yet at the same time communicate with someone in this way?”

He added that while government enjoys a majority in parliament, that majority is not a prerogative to protect their personal or partisan interests, nor those of their friends.

Grech continued on the situation in the law courts, accusing government of failing to invest in the human personnel of the courts.  

“Cases that are supposed to close within a short period of time are prolonged because there aren’t enough judges, magistrates, staff, and ultimately investment.”

He remarked that the courts aren’t receiving high investment because money is being wasted on the Electrogas and Vitals contracts, which have long been shrouded in controversy and corruption.

Grech went on to reference a statistic from the European Union which said that local court cases last eight times longer than the European average.

“One of the reasons for this is that you’re not investing enough in the needs of today.”

He recalled having attended the opening ceremony of the forensic year, after which he went to the court registrar and spoke to some of the staff.

“They are all angry at you,” Grech said towards Zammit Lewis. “Mountains of documents and papers. They all complain that they don’t have enough staff.”

Grech went on to mention Konrad Mizzi and his third no-show before the public accounts committee this week. While condemning Mizzi’s behaviour, he questioned by government MPs kept defending him during committee meetings.

“What are you scared he will reveal? What does he know about the Prime Minister?” he questioned.

Grech took a cynical view of the Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa, further questioning whether he is taking the necessary steps to bring high-power individuals to court.

He recalled a recent report that showed Mizzi exchanged text messages with Yorgen Fenech, the subject of conversation being the new ITS campus being planned at Smart City.

“This is trading-in-influence. On this alone, Mizzi should be arrested and interrogated. Instead, he’s abroad.”

Grech added that while the Prime Minister vowed that government MPs will not defend Konrad Mizzi during PAC meetings, the same MPs failed to vote for a motion to formally condemn Mizzi’s behaviour.