NGO claims influence-trading between Pilatus owner and Keith Schembri: / Malta News Briefing – Friday 24 June 2022

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Mid-Day Briefing

NGO claims influence-trading between Pilatus owner and Keith Schembri: According to court documents submitted by NGO Repubblika, a magisterial investigation into suspicions of financial criminality at Pilatus Bank discovered there may have been influence-trading between its chairman Ali Sadr and former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri. Following the end of a magisterial probe that discovered evidence of money laundering and criminal association, among other offences, the civil society group filed an application requesting that the courts order the police commissioner to prosecute Pilatus Bank.

Deficit lower than last year’s, debt rises further: Fresh data by the National Statistics Office shows that government has reported a €373.2 million by the end of May 2022. Compared to the same period in 2021, there was a decrease in deficit of €280.1 million. This difference mirrors an increase in total Recurrent Revenue (€297.6 million), partly offset by a rise in total expenditure, which consists of Recurrent Expenditure (€28.3 million), Interest (-€4.1 million) and Capital Expenditure (-€6.7 million). At the end of May 2022, Central Government debt stood at €8,409.9 million, a €579.7 million rise from 2021.

Covid-19 Update: 479 Covid-19 cases were reported on Friday.Two more deaths were also registered, taking the total to 740.

Morning Briefing

Doctors to file judicial protest seeking changes on anti-abortion law

More than 60 doctors have announced their intention to file judicial protest calling for changes to Malta’s strict anti-abortion law. Doctors will ask for legal changes to allow them to offer abortion if this is in the patient’s best interest. Gynaecologist Isabel Stabile said doctors live in fear of losing their medical licence. “They cannot perform necessary and sometimes life-saving medical procedures, such as abortion.” (Maltatoday)

Court hears details on altercation leading to Bugibba murder

The court heard on Thursday that a fatal fight in a Bugibba bar resulted from a one minute altercation that had arisen after a man allegedly coughed onto the bar owner’s drink. Details of the event were revealed on Thursday at the first session of the gathering of evidence against David Busuttil, the 59-year-old proprietor of Munchies bar, who is accused of murder in connection with the altercation that started in the very early hours of Friday. The victim, Roger Dudley-Ward, had gone to the pub along with a friend, London-born Shane Eagle, who witnessed the whole incident and testified about the dynamics of the argument. (Times of Malta)

Covid-19 Update
Malta reported 543 new coronavirus cases on Thursday. the highest single-day tally since April. With 179 recoveries the number of known active cases rose to 4,081. Two new deaths took the national death toll since the start of the pandemic to 738. 

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