25 Jan 2018
MEPs have urged police investigate all allegations of corruption in Malta – particularly at the highest political level – in a bid to end the perceived impunity in the country.
Officials met to discuss the ongoing allegations of corruption and money laundering plaguing the island, as well as to assess the country’s grip on the rule of law.
The conclusions of a fact-finding visit to Valletta were also discussed by members of the Civil Liberties Committee and the former Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance (PANA) on Thursday.
Maltese Minister of Justice Dr Owen Bonnici attended the meeting, as did two sons of the journalist and blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was killed in a bomb attack in October 2017.
Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat called in foreign investigators to help look into the car bomb that killed Caruana Galizia, who wrote about widespread breaches of the rule of law and corruption on the island.
Malta is the smallest EU country but is home to a disproportionately large financial services sector and is the continental hub for the flourishing online gaming industry.
On Thursday, most of the MEPs criticised the lack of police action – despite the very serious evidence of maladministration involving even members of the Maltese government – and considered the situation in Malta a source of concern for the whole of the EU.
Many also pointed to the lack of transparency of the Citizenship by Investment programme. Some speakers also asked for more time to get a full and clear picture of what is going on in the country.
Mr Bonnici regretted that MEPs are not taking account of the significant reforms adopted by the Maltese government to address corruption and assured them that all serious allegations are being investigated.
He added: “It is completely false that this government has put the rule of law in the dustbin.”
– KYC360 News
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