The Malta Independent 10 July 2020, Friday

Joseph Muscat named ‘2019 man of the year in organised crime and corruption’

Friday, 27 December 2019, 18:38 Last update: about 7 months ago

Outgoing Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat has been named the "2019 winner" for "man of the year in organised crime and corruption" by a consortium of investigative journalists. 

The Organized Crime & Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) noted that the leading factors behind the selection were "A murdered journalist. Shady offshore deals. A tiny nation in the grip of large-scale criminal interests."

US President Donald Trump was amongst the finalists for this title, whilst previous winners include Russian President, Vladimir Putin. In the end, the OCCRP panel believed the actions of Malta's prime minister constituted the most extreme form of corruption, they noted.

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The Project reported that under Muscat's leadership, criminality and corruption have flourished, and in many cases gone unpunished. Former Chief of Staff, Keith Schembri was also mentioned by the consortium, in relation to the murder.

One of the judges on the panel, that unanimously named Muscat the OCCRP Person of the Year, said that "Muscat has shown a total disdain for the media, free speech, and has allowed corrupt figures to order killings with impunity." 

"Failed political leadership, as exercised by this man, represents the current crisis that is shaking the foundations - freedom of speech and rule of law - of the European Union," said Saska Cvetkovska, editor-in-chief of the Investigative Reporting Lab in Macedonia and a member of OCCRP's board of directors.

See report here

OCCRP is a non-profit media organization providing an investigative reporting platform for a network of 45 non-profit investigative centres in 34 countries, scores of journalists, and several major regional news organizations across Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.

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