The Malta Independent 13 December 2019, Friday

The last week

Alfred Sant MEP Monday, 2 December 2019, 08:22 Last update: about 10 days ago

For the Maltese people, this past week was one of great tension. It could hardly have been otherwise as with high speed, developments in the investigations about the atrocious killing of Mrs Caruana Galizia came to light. They shook the foundations of the state.

The time has still not come to make uninhibited comments about what has been going on... and what is still proceeding.

The investigations as well as the conduct of all those involved who are politically exposed, will remain subjects of strong controversy in the coming weeks, if not months. 

Apart from the need to bring to court all persons responsible for the murder so that justice can be done in their regard – the priority that must be proclaimed and put into effect with the utmost emphasis relates to the rule of law in Malta. This has to be done in a way that convinces all those who, in Malta or abroad, have doubted or denied that the rule of law prevails, to reverse position.

It is not an easy thing to do. After all, in past weeks we have seen bizarre incidents occur that might have triggered new suspicions, rather than calm fears.

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FACTS

Face to face with facts that have been cleared and guaranteed true not fake, no margins should be allowed for partisan manoeuvering or for manipulations meant to avoid that anyone, no matter who, loses out on esteem.

The major consideration should be to give facts the importance they deserve. On that basis then, all relevant steps would need to be taken in line with conclusions that one is reasonably led to by the facts.

And if these facts turn out to be more serious than they seem to be right now, as I write, then this too should be accepted as another relevant fact.

The damage ... it is irreparable, as has been well said... will not be contained by pretending that the situation is not like what the facts point to.

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TRANSPARENCY

With the passage of time, I find myself increasingly convinced that the best method by which the country can ensure that public conduct (personal and corporative) respects worthwhile rules is by enforcing full transparency. All acts assumed by the government and its agencies should be made open to public scrutiny as soon as they come into force.

True, this could mean that some of such acts will encounter greater operational difficulties. As they come into force, it stands to reason they would need time to run properly.

But this is a price that had best be paid. Alternatively the government and the country would have to risk that matters could skid totally out of control because of the lack of transparency. And then too, “costs” would likewise spiral up and out.

Still a problem that remains is how to design rules for transparency that cover adequately the acute circumstances where it is also most required. For when this is the point at issue, it is not possible either to ignore the disquiet of those who genuinely care about certain national dossiers, including security matters. These do not always keep well in a climate of transparency.    

 

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