NGO wants Pilatus officials charged with money-laundering offences / Malta News Briefing – Wednesday 19 January 2022

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Times of Malta says that Joseph Muscat’s Burmarrad home was on Wednesday searched by police as part of a corruption probe into the Vitals Global Healthcare (VGH) hospitals deal.

MaltaToday says that European Parliament president Roberta Metsola will sign up to Simone Veil Pact that gurantees women’s access to contraception and abortion

Newsbook says that The Commissioner for Standards in Public Life, George Hyzler has ruled that the judicial letter sent by Speaker Anġlu Farrugia to Matthew Caruana Galizia in November could be antagonistic in tone but is not unethical.

TVM says that An 18-year-old youth who allegedly stole a woman’s bag in Paceville ended u being beaten up by persons who saw what he had done and chased after him.

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NGOs ask ICC to investigate legality of pushbacks: International NGOs have asked the International Criminal Court to investigate the legality by which Italian and Maltese authorities facilitated the return of migrants to Libya leading to their detention and subsequent mistreatment. The Communication requests the ICC to investigate international crimes committed by Libyan armed groups against thousands of migrants, including women and children, trapped in detention centres in Libya following their interception at sea. “The ICC Prosecutor should scrutinize, in addition to Libyan actors, the potential criminal conduct of Italian and Maltese authorities and officials for the support they provided to Libyan actors,” the NGOs said.

NGO wants Pilatus officials charged with ML offences: NGO Repubblika has piled pressure on the police to charge former Pilatus Bank officials with money laundering, insisting that there is enough evidence for such a case to stand up in court. Addressing a press briefing, Repubblika President Robert Aquilina said that Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa, Deputy Commissioner Alexandra Mamo and Attorney General Victoria Buttigieg had been sitting on evidence which showed the alleged money laundering for months, adding that the police commissioner should stop wasting time and charge the people in question. “It’s a real pity that even when he has an inquiry of over half a million pages in his hands, we need to come here and prompt Commissioner Gafa into doing something,” Aquilina said.

Covid-19 Update: Five persons died while Covid-19 positive over the past 24 hours, health authorities said. These were four females, aged 70, 77, 82 and 92 and a male aged 77. There were 342 new cases and 548 recoveries. 102 persons are currently in hospital, eight of whom in ITU.

Morning Briefing

Malta celebrates Metsola top EP appointment

Roberta Metsola’s election to President of the European Parliament dominated the news cycle on Tuesday, following her landslide victory in Tuesday’s election. A number of MPs and MEPs from both sides of the political spectrum rushed to congratulate Metsola, as did a number of constituted bodies, such as the Chamber of Commerce and the MEA. It was a packed day for Metsola who faced the press soon after the result was confirmed in Strasbourg. Foreign journalists focused on the issue of abortion, which had been the major matter of concern pushed by progressive MEPs during the campaign.

Metsola said that her “position is that of the European Parliament. This parliament has always been clear and unambiguous on the issue of sexual and reproductive health rights,” she said. “I will not interpret positions of this House. They will be my positions and I will promote them.” She also spoke about a positive meeting with Maltese PM Robert Abela and said that she was looking forward to work in the interest of the nation.

MPs wrangle on Justyne Caruana ethics hearing

MPs disagreed on the course of action after the former Education Minister, Justyne Caruana, filed a constitutional case. Labour MPs asked Speaker Anglu Farrugia to suspend an ethics committee hearing until the Constitutional case is over, but PN MPs said that the law does not permit such move.The former minister’s lawsuit is seeking to challenge the validity of the law granting the Standards Commissioner “discretion” throughout the ethics probe which effectively breached Caruana’s right to a fair hearing, the former minister’s lawyers have claimed. PN MP Karol Aquilina said Labour was trying to push the the decision for after the general election. [Times of Malta/Maltatoday]

Covid-19 update: A further 379 new COVID-19 cases were recorded on Tuesday while 704 patients recovered. The health authorities said that three men, who were 60, 64 and 89 years old, died while Covid-19 positive.

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