The Malta Independent 25 June 2024, Tuesday
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Repubblika says Byron Camilleri, police chief Gafa should be removed after Enemalta search delay

Tuesday, 21 March 2023, 11:09 Last update: about 2 years ago

NGO Repubblika has asked for the removal of Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri and Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa after it was reported that there were delays in executing a search of Enemalta's offices.

"We cannot begin to heal as long as Byron Camilleri remains Home Affairs Minister and Angelo Gafà remains the complicit head of the Police," Repubblika said.

The Times of Malta reported that a corruption probe into the Montenegro wind farm deal has stalled after sources revealed police delays to search Enemalta's offices. A magisterial inquiry into this case is still ongoing.

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Repubblika said that this news confirms that the police are doing everything to ensure that no one is held accountable for the "fraud committed" when Enemalta bought a wind farm in Montenegro.

The Mozura wind farm project has faced a lot of scrutiny due to alleged underhand dealings which were brought to light through an investigation by Reuters and Times of Malta which showed that 17 Black, the Dubai company owned by Yorgen Fenech, made a profit in December 2015 of €4.6 million from Enemalta's purchase of a windfarm in Montenegro.

This was a month after the government announced that it was acquiring the project through Enemalta.

Despite Prime Minister Robert Abela saying he was "disgusted" by the Enemalta scandal, the latest news shows that the police are ignoring magisterial directives to search the offices of Enemalta and to search emails of the directors of Enemalta, Repubblika said.

Regardless of this, Repubblika said that Abela still chooses to keep Camilleri and Gafa "who made it their mission to protect Joseph Muscat and his associates Keith Schembri, Konrad Mizzi, and Yorgen Fenech."

Repubblika pointed out how searches to seize evidence must be a surprise and carried out as quickly as possible to catch suspects. Instead, Repubblika said that the police let the months and years pass by and when pressure increased, the police warned suspects that they are coming.

Repubblika said that cases such as the Panama Papers, Vitals and even cases under Abela, make it clear that the police are complicit with criminals and obstructing the law.

MEP David Casa meanwhile ramped up pressure after the news was revealed.

"As more time passes, the Police Commissioner, responsible for prosecuting crime, instead continues to defend it. There is an agenda to protect Robert Abela's predecessors which is trumping the integrity of the justice system."

"It is nothing short of state capture by criminal interests."

Casa wrote to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and to the Vice President in charge of the rule of law Vera Jourova. The letter follows a month of inaction from the Maltese police in the Vitals/Steward scandal, and further inaction on the Mozura wind farm scandal in Montenegro, when the Police Financial Crimes Investigations Department contradicted a magisterial order to search Enemalta premises.

"Despite evidence everywhere you look, of widespread corruption that robbed the Maltese blind, investigations appear to be scuppered," Casa said in a letter to the Commission. "A raid was ordered by the inquiring magistrate in early December... To date, the Police Financial Crimes Investigations Department has refused to conduct it."

"In doing so, it has branded itself as a persistent spoke in the wheels of justice, stultifying the work of the magisterial inquiry for the sole reason of benefiting those in power, those criminals who have pillaged the state coffers."

Casa slammed the Government for its fake on-paper reforms which he said were a despicable ploy to stave off scrutiny for the collapse in prosecuting high-level corruption committed by Labour Government officials, while praising those who have spent years fighting in the absence of an effective police force.

Casa recalled his letter to von der Leyen when she took office amidst the 2019 protests in the dying days of the Muscat administration.

"Malta was on the precipice then, and its descent as concerns the rule of law has been further accelerated by his successor's inability to prosecute corruption, or worse still, his propensity to afford impunity to Muscat and his accomplices," the letter ends.

 


 

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