Malta News Briefing – Thursday 1 April 2021

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Updated 1300 Covid 19 update

Cases edged up to 52, Health authorities reported. However, with 146 persons recovering, the number of active cases has gone down to below 800.

Updated – Newspaper Review

The Malta Business Weekly takes reactions from business leaders following a positive draft report by Moneyval. The president of the Bank Employees Union, William Portelli, said institutions must learn from the situation.

The Times reports that authorities in Malta have sent a request to counterparts in Britain to extradite former the managing director of Allied Group Adrian Hillman. The process could take several weeks.

L-Orizzont says that new measures restricting gatherings in public spaces to two people came into effect on Wednesday. The police said on Facebook that they are doing all they can to ensure that people abide by the safety protocols.

The Independent speaks to a representative of the hunting lobby group who confirmed that parts of the Miżieb and Aħrax parks will be closed to the public if authorities open the spring season this month.

In-Nazzjon quotes PN Leader Bernard Grech who said that people want to take their country back from corrupt politicians. In a social media post on Freedom Day, Grech said everyone needs to work together to restore Malta’s name.

The Independent says that the lawyer representing the Degiorgio brothers have “direct evidence” of former and sitting Cabinet ministers involved in criminal activity. They are also prepared to reveal a middleman in the plot to kill Daphne Caruana Galizia.

The Times quotes a statement by Alfred and George Degiorgio who said that they have not received any reply to their request for pardon. The brothers said they have information about the involvement of a former Cabinet minister in the Caruana Galizia murder.

In-Nazzjon says that the Degiorgio brothers have raised concerns about conflicts of interest by the Cabinet members in recommending their pardon request, claiming that they are ready to name former and current ministers.

The Malta Business Weekly carries an interview with Carlo Stivala, the CEO of Archives International, which provides digitisation services for physical documents. Stivala said the technology organises files into searchable data.

L-Orizzont reports on proposals by world leaders for an international treaty for the handling of future global pandemic. Analysis told the paper that the need for such a treaty reveals the failure of nationalistic decisions on the vaccine.

Morning Briefing

Pandemic restricts Freedom Day celebrations

The 42nd anniversary of Freedom day was celebrated yesterday. Festivities were limited due to the pandemic, with the traditional Armed Forces parade not being held. The President, the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader placed bouquets of flowers at the base of the monument, and the ceremony was brought to a close with the playing of the National Anthem.

ON social media, PM Robert Abela thanked Malta’s forefathers for taking Malta to this important achievement. Opposition Leader Bernard Grech said that Maltese citizens want their country back from those that have kidnapped it for personal interest.

Remove time-barring in child abuse cases insists Foundation

The Lisa Maria Foundation has again asked the Government to remove time barring for cases of child sexual abuse. On behalf of the organisation, Winston J. Zahra and Joe Borg, told Minister Michael Falzon that the victims of child sexual abuse need to time to address the trauma they have experienced and that countries such as Canada, the UK and Australia have removed time barring, or as it is also known, the statute of limitations.

The Foundation said that Minister Falzon had agreed with the need for the laws about time barring in such cases to be changed so that the system is not abused.

ADPD supports white paper on cannabis

A white paper on the decriminalisation of cannabis is a positive step in the right direction, ADPD said. According to proposed new legislation launched earlier this week, cannabis users will be allowed to grow their own plants at home and legally carry up to 7 grams of the drug for personal use.

In a statement, ADPD hoped it will lead to a mature discussion on the issue since much more needed to be done.

Party chairperson Carmel Cacopardo said that the war on drugs has failed miserably and it is positive that the government is, at last, moving away from the criminalisation of cannabis users.

Covid-19 Update

The steady decline in new COVID-19 cases was confirmed with 40 new cases reported by Health authorities on Wednesday. With 101 recoveries, the number of active cases declined again to 829.

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