The Malta Independent 7 December 2019, Saturday

By refusing to sack Schembri, Mizzi, PM is becoming an accomplice – Delia

Thursday, 21 November 2019, 18:58 Last update: about 15 days ago

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is becoming an accomplice to Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi by refusing to take action against them in view of the latest developments, PN Leader Adrian Delia said on Thursday evening.

He was speaking on Net TV, shortly after a meeting of the PN's Parliamentary Group, during which it was decided that the party will join a second anti-corruption protest on Friday evening, organised by civil society groups.

Delia spoke of the "surreal" developments, including the fact that the PM said he has known certain things for the last two years but held back from speaking publicly about them.

"So he has known certain things for two years but did not act. He had also known that Schembri and Mizzi had opened secret companies in Panama but failed to act. Had he acted, Daphne's murder might possibly have been avoided. Instead, Muscat speaks as if he made some sort of sacrifice."

Delia said the owner of 17 has been arrested but it doesn't even cross the PM's mind to sack Schembri and Mizzi, who had links to Yorgen Fenech. "Even with this information before him, he persists in protecting these two people and others, and is, in the process, harming the country. Why is he doing this? The PM is not shouldering his responsibility. He can take decisions but is refusing to do so. Muscat is obliged to sack those who committed crimes and corruption. He is harming the country's reputation further by keeping them there. He has made himself an accomplice and is placing himself in the same basket as Schembri and Mizzi."

Speaking about this week's walkout, Delia said "Parliament is the place where we represent the people and we will not abdicate from our responsibilities to the people."

Muscat, he said, is protecting people who broke the law and failed the Maltese people. "This country deserves better."

"In view of the government's inaction, we have to move from words to action," Delia said.

He said the PM has created a climate where corruption is accepted.

"This morning, he said the arrest did not come as a result of information given by the middleman. So what was it based on? Was it the PM's decision, seeing that he has known certain things for two years?"

Muscat has to answer when the system fails, when those around him break the law, Delia said.

"Why did he not act when the Panama structures were set up? He is giving his blessing to corruption and illegalities. This means we have an illegitimate government that lacks moral and political strength."

Delia urged "all those who are fed up corruption and filth" to join Friday's protest

He urged people to protest peacefully but remarked that the anger is there.

"We need to give civil society a platform to make its voice heard. Silence makes us accomplices. We should all stand up and speak out."

The programme also featured a clip of EPP president Donald Tusk saying that the Maltese authorities should do everything they can to bring the guilty to justice.

He also said that people have a right to demand the highest standards, not only in Malta but everywhere.


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