A Fish Rots from the Head

2 December 2019


Cogito Ergo Non Serviam

Maltese PM Quits over Murder of Journalist


Malta is a small island off the coast of Italy and is a member of the EU. It is run by a corrupt clique of thieves, and a journalist named Daphne Caruana Galizia made a career out of exposing it. Her career and life ended when a car bomb went off two years ago. Police charged three men this summer with the planting of the explosive device, but the question of who gave them their orders has yet to be answered in full. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat resigned over the week-end as the investigation got closer and closer to him. Malta could be a European answer to Singapore, but it is more like a badly run city-state in medieval Italy.

Over the summer, police arrested Alfred and George Digiorgio and Vincent Muscat (no relation to the PM) for the murder. The middleman in the plot was a taxi driver named Malvin Theuma, whom the police arrested in November. He gave authorities evidence that led to the arrest of Yorgen Fenech, one of the country's richest men. He, in turn, told police that Keith Schembri, the PM's chief of staff, was the mastermind behind the car bombing.

The rot extended into the cabinet. The Guardian reported this morning, "two ministers, Konrad Mizzi and Chris Cardona, also left their posts; they have not been arrested. The men deny criminal wrongdoing. But it is difficult for them to deny any connection to Ms Caruana Galizia, since her journalism revealed that Mr Schembri and Mr Mizzi were beneficiaries of secretive Panama shell companies." The paper also reports, "Malta, a secrecy jurisdiction with very lax banking controls, is known to be a conduit for dark money and also offers 'golden passports'."

Prime Minister Muscat said at a press conference, "Some decisions were good while others could have been better made. All the responsibility I had to shoulder surely does not compare to the pain that the victim's family is enduring."

There are only two possibilities. Either the PM was ignorant of the plot, in which case he was a fool and should step down. Or he knew about it, which means he is an accomplice to murder, and should step down.

Ms. Galizia's family is being generous in public with its statements. The BBC stated, "the murdered journalist's family said the prime minister had been left deeply compromised and should resign because he had failed, for the past two years, to take action to clean up politics in Malta. They argued that as long as he remained in place, a full investigation into Caruana Galizia's death was not possible."

The trouble is that the corruption appears to extend well beyond Prime Minister Muscat. The entire ruling Labour Party may be infested with dirty money spent by dirty people. The work of Ms. Galizia barely began given the size of the offal pile that is Maltese politics and banking. Taking down a prime minister is a big deal, but he was merely the tallest poppy in the garden. Malta needs a top-to-bottom cleaning, and it needs it now.

© Copyright 2019 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.

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