The Malta Independent 6 August 2020, Thursday

Blood on their hands

Victor Calleja Sunday, 8 December 2019, 09:21 Last update: about 9 months ago

Our institutions are in tatters, the country’s reputation horribly stained for generations to come.

The bloodied hands are apparently at Castille, the place mired in horrendous criminality and corruption. But those who stood by and allowed our political system to be shorn of proper checks and balances are all to blame.

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The worst scenario imaginable is being played out before our eyes by Joseph Muscat and his gang of murderous thieves and yet ever since independence politicians have all been lacking: they usurped powers beyond their calling.

Justice, police, all the major institutions and the most important aspect of local broadcasting should never have remained solely in the hands of the few. The right to investigate the corrupt is nearly all in the hands of those who wield power in the nation.

Never in our country’s history have we seen so much filth, horror, corruption and injustice. Yes, there are politicians who are guiltier. And there have been politicians who have served by the book. But, on the whole, what recent events prove is that the system allowed – or potentially allowed, as has happened under Joseph Muscat – gangsters to take over and manipulate the masses. They could control institutions and become bloody tyrants. Because they were ‘hosanna-ed’ by the multitudes they felt they were immune to the restrictions of good governance. They were even sure they could commit murder and get away with it – or commit murder and then cover it all up.

It is maybe too late for a lot of the harm to be reversed: the more we dither, the worse it becomes.

At the time of writing this piece Joseph Muscat has not resigned and has not been fired. He has not been investigated. And Keith Schembri is still a free man. These things only happen in dictatorships where black remains white and where wrong is right. We are living in the shadow of a dictatorship sanctioned by parliament and the masses.

The longer members of the Labour Party take to change the course of history and fire Joseph Muscat in order to allow proper investigations and arrests to happen, the worse it will be for Malta and for future generations. Standing up and being counted now is pivotal.

What a few warriors of steel said throughout these last three years is that Malta is riven with corruption. The ones speaking up, the ones who told Malta and then subsequently the world to clean up our act, to investigate, to really uncover the rot at the core of Malta, were branded traitors, liars and worse.

Daphne Caruana Galizia, now a household name – not just here but wherever freedom of expression is valued – fought for and tried to show us up for what we were. And she was reviled, dehumanised, called a liar and ultimately murdered.

The ones who took up her call after her state-sponsored execution were likewise attacked brutally as peddlers of untruths about our glorious country.

The more the lone fighters spoke, the more they were attacked by government lackeys and spokespeople. But they, the government misinformation troops, did not stop the few from fighting on: fighting for a seemingly lost cause.

Now the truth is out.

The rot, as we always said, was coming from Castille itself. The defenders of the criminals are all part of the worst cover-up in our country’s history. They are also the killers of not just a woman who fought alone but the killers of hope in a country’s moral fibre.

That a murder happens is frightening. That it is a murder premeditated and planned in cold blood is horrifying. That it happened under the Prime Minister’s watch, probably hatched and settled inside or close enough to his office, is beyond imagination.

Seen in a film, such actions would be thought of as insanely beyond belief. Seeing that they are a reality, and that the man allegedly behind it all – Keith Schembri – is free, freezes anyone’s blood. The cool, cold-blooded man who planned it all is still, it seems, controlling, issuing orders, and hounding anyone who dares not do his bidding.

When they murdered Daphne they did not just kill an innocent woman, wife, mother and daughter. They silenced Malta’s only investigative journalist. The crime was therefore more heinous.

Yet Daphne was not silenced. Daphne is, in fact, alive, tearing down the castle of corruption and the regime – ironically adored by many – of Joseph Muscat.

From beyond the grave she carries on alone, causing the whole edifice to crumble.

For the sake of Daphne and for the sake of future generations, we can only hope that may something useful will come out of this. When justice has finally been served and Malta starts rebuilding, we owe it to Daphne to not simply continue patching over the stains, the cracks and the fissures.

Politics has failed to save us from our own greed and from politicians ready to trade the truth with ill-gotten gains and a proper love of freedom with saving their own skins, even after committing the worst of sins.

Let this be the start of a new era where we see politicians who are subordinate to justice and the people, with no space for demigods ready to loot, plunder and murder innocent people.

Unless we unite for the long haul then we are doomed to remain a place known for its corruption and, sadly, full of crime and corruption that kills not just the spirit but human beings.

 

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