Lest we forget…
We have some more questions regarding this issue of Beppe Fenech Adami and the company he is alleged to have been involved with.
Let us start from basics: the MaltaToday report alleges that allegations that surfaced in Holland before the election somehow did not find adequate correspondence and investigation in Malta.
We would expect, therefore, to be shown official correspondence between the Netherlands and Malta and/or an official complaint in this regard, along with who received it, and who decided not to act upon it.
It may be, of course, that this is a matter for the three former members of the judiciary who were yesterday tasked with investigating the allegations.
We were taken to task yesterday by an English-language writer on Glenn Bedingfield’s blog about the independence (or lack thereof) of the members of the judiciary, even those who are pensioners.
As it so happens, one member of this trio of former judges announced later on in the day happens to be a former Labour MP.
In Parliament in the evening, Justice Minister
Owen Bonnici made a big thing about how the appointment of members of the judiciary has now been taken away from the government’s hands and how the new members are being first vetted by a special committee.
With all due respect, this move, though a step forward, does not remove the long shadow of the government of the day. Minister Bonnici himself admitted how members of the judiciary who have resigned have such a low pension that they come to depend on the government for some extra income.
But a far better argument is to turn the whole thing on its head.
If the Prime Minister, who says he is not being partisan, felt impelled to act with such alacrity on the allegations regarding Dr Fenech Adami, what is keeping him from launching a similar inquiry into scandals such as Café Premier, Gaffarena, Panama Papers and visas for sick Libyans – all cases that have long been in the public domain and about which not a single inquiry has been launched not one person investigated. The only person who has paid seems to have been Dr Michael Falzon, despite his protestations of innocence. All the members on the Bench would probably not be enough to staff such inquiries.
The past months and years have seriously undermined confidence in the government and one would have expected the government itself to take swift steps to distance itself from any allegation of wrong-doing. When this was not done (as opposed to what has now been done based on just a newspaper report) the suspicion in the minds of many was that the government was covering up for misdeeds and for those who had committed them. Whatever methods are used to take the people’s mind away from such cases, these cases will not drop out of sight and it is definitely not in the country’s best interest to let them disappear. The Opposition, representing around half of the electorate, is duty-bound not to let these cases fall from popular memory. It is also duty-bound to commit itself to bringing the perpetrators to justice whenever it finds itself in government.
It is not through sweeping things under the carpet that the nation heals itself. We say this with regard to anyone and everyone, on this or on that side of the political divide.