The Malta Independent 16 December 2017, Saturday

Normality is when people like me no longer make the headlines - Antonio Di Pietro

Rebecca Iversen Sunday, 3 December 2017, 16:14 Last update: about 12 days ago

An anti-corruption Italian prosecutor this evening told demonstrators in Valletta that the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia was not a crime like any other and called on people to become one voice against corruption.

Mani Pulite' prosecutor Antonio Di Pietro, who exposed corruption and 'tangentopoli' in Italy, was speaking at a demonstration organized by the Civil Society Network.

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“The first thing I wish to say is that you have to have the courage to know that if you want to, you can.”

Di Pietro said normality would be achieved “when people like me, whose job was to bring criminals to justice, will no longer make the news. As a magistrate I applied the law equally to everyone,” he said.

He said politicians sometimes acted as thieves, adding that “normality is is when jailing a thief does not make headlines.”

Daphne Caruana Galizia, he said, died because she was doing her job. “Her family is suffering today because of her struggle to seek the truth and inform her readers.”

“Malta has always been a bridge for civilisations. Be careful. I have heard people saying that Malta is a mafia state. Let us not make this mistake. When a country is called a mafia state it means that putting everyone in the same basket so that no one is found guilty. We have to remove the bad apples from this barrel.”

People like Daphne, he said, are fundamental for a democracy. “Let us not believe that this was a murder like any other. In my country we have witnessed this time and time again. The mafia controlled the institutions because the people running those institutions pretended that they did not see anything.”

“Do not make the mistake of thinking that the Mafiosi are the ones who go around with guns. You have to find out not who killed Daphne but who sent her.”

Di Pietro told his audience that it was up to them now. “Everyone must make their voices heard. You have to become an ocean of voices. Daphne was killed because she was alone. You all have to do what she did, speak about what is happening and seek the truth. If we remain silent there might be another Daphne (murder) tomorrow, and we have to prevent this. You have to speak up and say that corruption is not OK.” 

Writer Immanuel Mifsud said Malta had not become a critical society. The people belonged to the politicians, instead of the politicians belongto the people.

"Civil society means we have a responsibility that we haven't taken yet but that democracy gives us," he stated.

Mifsud said he had a dream where the civil society was what truly governed the country, adding that he hoped the country did not remain with this trivial mentality, when the few people with power hold the most influential yield.

Young people at university and tertiary education should not be competing with each other based on political parties and party memberships, he said, adding that a pluralist society was essential.

CSN member Miriam Galea said Malta was a country where “the mediocre and the corrupt get a pat on the back and those who dream of leading honestly are vilified.

“I am one of those who have lost their place in the country where the right way means nothing and evil is allowed instead. It is a country where the honest are pushed aside and those who steal, lie, deceive and threaten are advanced.”

She added that Maltese MEPs who spoke up are not traitors, and Daphne was not a traitor either. Neither are journalists who seek the truth and whistle-blowers who risk everything.

“A traitor is one who dirties Malta’s name with corrupt banks, greedy politicians, and a dirty government. Traitors are those who remain silent before this desperate situation.”

Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi have retained their positions, even after the Panama Papers scandal, Galea said, adding that the Police Commissioner and the Attorney General have let everyone down yet still maintain their position.

She accused PM Joseph Muscat of having two faces: the solemn mask he wears before foreign journalists and the face of a bully who believes that the right of majority wins over the right of the law.

“You hide behind police commissioner and incompetent AG. You attack anyone who dares to voice the truth,” she exclaimed, adding, “you portray yourself as a European but you utilise third world standards.”

 

Journalist and former PN campaign manager Caroline Muscat urged for the Maltese people to no longer remain neutral in such dark times, otherwise they would be complicit.

"Together we are a strong force. The truth is the biggest weapon we have," Muscat explained.

The obligation to investigate, to be critical and to seek the truth is what everyone should do, she said, adding that when we find the truth we also have the right to share it.

"Don't allow them to call you traitors. The traitors are those who pick their own personal interests over the common good," she said.

Referring to the lack of action over leaked FIAU reports, Muscat said: "They do what they want because they know they'll get off lightly. The system is corrupt from the roots and cosmetic changes are not enough."

Photos: Baskal Mallia

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