Abela says former PMs still have responsibilities / News Briefing – Tuesday 9 November 2021

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Times of Malta says that Financial crimes investigators who seized electronic equipment from the home of a former senior official at Pilatus Bank in April still have to establish if the data is relevant to money laundering proceedings pending in court.

MaltaToday says that the Planning Authority (PA) has reversed the decision that would have restricted public access to objections, presented by the public on different projects.

Newsbook says that Archbishop Charles Scicluna appointed Kevin Papagiorcopulo as editor and chairman of Beacon Media Group’s editorial board which oversees the Newsbook.com.mt news portal and 103 Malta’s Heart

TVM says that For the second consecutive year, Malta remained among the countries who are mostly fighting climate change

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Abela says former PMs still have responsibilities: PM Robert Abela appeared to distance himself from revelations about a €60,000 payment, his predecessor Joseph Muscat received from a Swiss company linked to Steward Healthcare, insisting that former prime ministers must continue to uphold their responsibilities and ethical obligations. Referring to an ongoing magisterial inquiry by magistrate Gabriella Vella, Abela said government would “respect the conclusions that the magistrate reaches”.

Covid-19 Update: There were 35 new Covid-19 cases as 10 people recovered. 13 people are being treated at Mater Dei hospital, 4 of whom are in the ITU.

Principal Central Link works completed: The main works on the Central Link project have been completed, a spokesperson for Infrastructure Malta said. Transport Minister Ian Borg pledged in summer that the project would be completed by October. The Infrastructure Malta spokesperson said that bar some “final touches”, which are still pending, all new lanes have been opened as planned. The €55 million Central Link project involved the rebuilding of roads linking the Mrieħel bypass to Rabat.

Repubblika demands investigation: Civil society NGO Repubblika has asked the police authorities to investigate former PM Joseph Muscat after a Times of Malta story on Sunday revealed that he received payments from a Swiss company linked to Steward Healthcare. Meanwhile, the police have refused to reply to media questions asking whether the revelations are being investigated.

Morning Briefing

Yorgen Fenech files judicial protest against police refusal to grant access to all case material

Yorgen Fenech has filed a judicial protest through his layers claiming that his defence is being “irremediably prejudiced” by police refusal to disclose “all material” crucial to clearing his name. The protest was filed against Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa on Monday. It renewed calls for the evidence to be disclosed and is holding him responsible for allegedly breaching Fenech’s right to a fair hearing.
Fenech had always insisted that police had more recordings, other than the four made available to him. The lawyers said in the protest that it was now an “uncontested fact” that police had evidence that could “prove his innocence,” and even referred to a particular phone tap which indicated the businessman had been “framed”. [Times of Malta]

Malta needs more corporate banks – Silvio Schembri

Economy Minister Silvio Schembri said that Malta needs to attract more corporate banks to service companies and international business, acknowledging the difficulty operators are facing to access bank finance. In a debate on the national broadcaster, the Economy Minister revealed that the government is in talks with several international institutions to open corporate banks in Malta and diversify the market offering. He acknowledged that part of the issue was Malta’s hosting of several high-risk sectors like financial services, gaming and blockchain, but he lamented the fact that international regulations place the same onerous obigations on smaller banks like BOV like major international banking giants. PN counterpart Kristy Debono said the issue was primarily related to reputation, adding that the problem cannot be solved by the same people who created it. [Maltatoday]

Covid-19 Update: 27 new cases of coronavirus were reported in Malta, while 15 patients recovered overnight, health authorities said today. Active cases now stand at 381, although only eleven patients require hospital treatment. Just over 59,000 persons have already received their booster doses.

Morning Briefing

Yorgen Fenech files judicial protest against police refusal to grant access to all case material

Yorgen Fenech has filed a judicial protest through his layers claiming that his defence is being “irremediably prejudiced” by police refusal to disclose “all material” crucial to clearing his name. The protest was filed against Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa on Monday.
It renewed calls for the evidence to be disclosed and is holding him responsible for allegedly breaching Fenech’s right to a fair hearing.
Fenech had always insisted that police had more recordings, other than the four made available to him. The lawyers said in the protest that it was now an “uncontested fact” that police had evidence that could “prove his innocence,” and even referred to a particular phone tap which indicated the businessman had been “framed”. [Times of Malta]

Malta needs more banks – Silvio Schembri

Economy Minister Silvio Schembri said that Malta needs to attract more corporate banks to service companies and international business, acknowledging the difficulty operators are facing to access bank finance. In a debate on the national broadcaster, the Economy Minister revealed that the government is in talks with several international institutions to open corporate banks in Malta and diversify the market offering. He acknowledged that part of the issue was Malta’s hosting of several high-risk sectors like financial services, gaming and blockchain, but he lamented the fact that international regulations place the same onerous obigations on smaller banks like BOV like major international banking giants. PN counterpart Kristy Debono said the issue was primarily related to reputation, adding that the problem cannot be solved by the same people who created it. [Maltatoday]

Covid-19 Update: 27 new cases of coronavirus were reported in Malta, while 15 patients recovered overnight, health authorities said today. Active cases now stand at 381, although only eleven patients require hospital treatment. Just over 59,000 persons have already received their booster doses.

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