The Malta Independent 20 January 2022, Thursday

Police failed to act despite having had proof of corruption for years – activists

Shona Berger Friday, 29 October 2021, 19:20 Last update: about 4 months ago

Konrad Mizzi ‘a living monument to corruption’

Activists taking part in a protest on police inaction against Konrad Mizzi and other political figures said Friday that the police have refused to act despite having been in possession of evidence for over five years.

Civil society NGO Repubblika and others camped outside the police headquarters for three days, moving to Valletta on Friday to hold a protest in front of the Office of the Prime Minister. The activists are calling on Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa to take action on former minister Konrad Mizzi, who has four times refused to appear before the Public Accounts Committee.

Repubblika President Robert Aquilina said it was a shame that protests have to take place in Malta for justice to be served. The public is suffering from the lack of action taken against Konrad Mizzi, Keith Schembri and Joseph Muscat, Aquilina said.

Many international institutions have said Malta is inactive when facing critical problems. “These institutions tell us that when they meet with the Prime Minister, Police Commissioner and Attorney General they are given promises that never materialise.”

The protests today are a result of decisions taken in 2019, Aquilina said. “When we protested for a new Prime Minister, we did not want to settle for a PM who protects his predecessors and his criminal friends.”

“We waited for Abela to do the obvious and distance himself from corrupt individuals and those involved in the government responsible for Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination, but what is obvious to some is not to Robert.”

Referring to Abela’s ‘continuity’ pledge during his leadership campaign, Aquilina said that, “so far, no individual part of Muscat’s corruption era has been brought to court.”

Aquilina asked why the police have not taken any steps against individuals mentioned in the Panama Papers, why the government keeps protecting Konrad Mizzi and how they are not ashamed of all the corruption.

Aquilina said Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa was supposed to be a beacon of hope for change in the country’s fight for justice. There is ample evidence for certain individuals to not only be investigated but also tried in court, but nothing of the sort has happened.

“Commissioner, we have been three days and three nights in front of the Police Depot trying to ask you questions. Many police officers have told us that they are disgusted with the lack of action from the top tiers of the Police Force, yet you (Gafa) remain silent.”

#occupyjustice activist Louiselle Vassallo labelled Konrad Mizzi as “a living monument to corruption.”

Mizzi “contaminated” every single project he was involved in, Vassallo said, yet this government continues to protect him.

“We have been waiting for the police and the Attorney General to do their job since 2016. Daphne gave them all they needed to investigate that year when she revealed Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi’s secret companies. The following year, damning FIAU reports were leaked, containing more evidence. The police and the AG have had this proof for five years – five years of impunity that led to the murder of a journalist.”

She asked why Mizzi was released after his arrest in November 2019, and why the police have done nothing since.

Vassallo said there are many legitimate questions the public needs answering.

“What are the police was doing with this evidence? What happened to Silvio Valletta? What action is being taken against Ian Abdilla? What stage has investigation on Laurence Cutajar has reached? Why have the police not yet arrested anyone in connection with the Panama Papers, and where are the police on the Pilatus Bank case? What happened to the doctor who passed on messages between Keith Schembri and Yorgen Fenech, and will Sai Mizzi be giving us a refund? Is Chris Cardona being investigated? Are the people who gave Melvin Theuma his phantom government job being investigated? Will the police investigate John Dalli, and will the Egrant inquiry be reopened? Is Keith Schembri’s phone still missing in action?”

All we are asking for is that this police commissioner does his duty, unlike his predecessors, she said.

Repubblika vice president Alessandra Dee Crespo said people like the police commissioner prefer painting a pretty and idyllic picture rather than acknowledging the truth. People like him are judged for his lack of results. It appears to be that Angelo Gafa does not mind listening to one delegation after another saying that Malta’s financial crimes fall under the responsibility of no one,” she said.

“We are fed up. We are people who obey the law and we are people who work for our country. We are fed up of seeing Malta known by the world as thieves.

She added that “time and time again, Konrad Mizzi was caught in corruption but nothing ever happens to him.”

They all want us to go home including Robert Abela. If we remain silent, we will be witnesses to his great lie revolving the significant change in our country, that law and justice rule, that Joseph Muscat is no longer king,” Dee Crespo said.

“Angelo Gafa, Konrad Mizzi, Joseph Muscat, Robert Abela... shame on you! The lies and intimidation of the propagandists do not frighten us,” she added.

“We will remain on the doorsteps of power, sitting or standing, and if necessary lying down, until one day I see justice reign in Malta,” Dee Crespo protested.


Photos: Giuseppe Attard

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