Judge to investigate whether Camilleri is liable for criminal action on Whatsapp leaks / Malta News Briefing – Wednesday 22 March 2023

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Updated 1720 – Afternoon Portal Review

The Times of Malta reports that a judge has ordered the police commissioner to investigate whether author Mark Camilleri is liable to criminal action for publishing thousands of messages between Labour MP Rosianne Cutajar and Yorgen Fenech.

Maltatoday says that Bernard Grech has criticised Robert Abela for his lack of action over Whatsapp chat leaks between MP Rosianne Cutajar and alleged Caruana Galizia murder mastermind Yorgen Fenech.

TVM leads with court news where Carmel Cauchi has not been found guilty of causing the death of Johanna Boni (26) in a traffic accident in Naxxar on the 5th of January 2016.

The Malta Independent reports that €846 million has been invested in the education sector over the last legislative year, Education minister Clifton Grima said in a press conference 

Updated 1230

Commission to review minimum wage to be setup: Government has announced the setting up of a new commission tasked with reviewing the minimum wage every four years. Any revisions to the minimum wage would be unrelated to the annual COLA mechanism increases. Andy Ellul, the Parliamentary Secretary for Social Dialogue revealed that the Commission will be composed of four representatives of the unions and four of the employers’ association, as well as representatives of the government. It will be presided by the MCESD Chairman David Xuereb and Permanent Secretary for Social Policy Mark Musù.

PM Abela still believes in ‘essential Labour values’: Prime Minister Robert Abela said that he considers himself a socialist and believes “all the essential values of the Labour Party that include social fairness and social mobility”. According to Abela, these values form the foundation of the PL. However, the Prime Minister argued that he also has a duty to run a strong economy, to ensure it has the resources to distribute to everyone. His remarks follow criticism of the party’s abandonment of its socialist foundations from former Labour stalwarts.

Half of aborting Maltese women already had children: According to studies, more than half of women in Malta who underwent a medical abortion after ordering pills online already had children. Data shows that 53% of the 658 women who underwent medical abortions between 2017 and 2021 had children, and a quarter of them had two or more. The study was based on anonymous data made available by Women on Web, one online healthcare service provider.

Morning Briefing

Govt to immediately take-over hospitals after rejecting Steward terms

The government has informed Steward Health Care that it would take over management of the three state hospitals that it had previously overseen through a notice of termination. By doing this, the government effectively notifies Steward that it would no longer accept the termination terms it had requested when it declared last week that it would leave Malta. The most important of these requirements is a €100 million payment Steward intends to impose as compensation for having its contract to manage the three hospitals cancelled. In a statement, Government said that the terms make the step-in conditional on a two-week transition period. That period began on Tuesday afternoon, as soon as Steward received notice of the government’s intent. (Times of Malta)

230 protection orders issued since 2020

230 protection orders have been issued in favour of domestic violence victims since the start of 2020, information tabled in Parliament reveals. The largest number of protection orders was issued in 2020, a year in which Covid-19 restrictions are believed to have contributed to a rise in intimate partner violence. After a notable dip in numbers in 2021, the number of protection orders issued last year approached levels close to 2020. 86 temporary protection orders were also issued over the same period. (Newsbook)

NGO calls out Police Commisioner after report reveals inaction on scandal

NGO Repubblika demanded the resignation of both Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa and Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri after revelations that there were delays in carrying out a search of Enemalta’s premises in connection with the Montenegro wind farm scandal. According to The Times of Malta, the investigation into the Montenegro wind farm contract has stalled due to police delays in searching Enemalta’s premises. This matter is still under magisterial investigation. 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 Malta Independent)

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