Firm gets oil exploration licence / Malta News Briefing – Wednesday 25 January 2023

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Updated 1615

The Times of Malta reports that two teenagers have been charged with assault in connection with a violent attack in Valletta that left a child with a broken leg. Both pleaded not guilty and requested bail.

TVM says that a number of communities in Malta and Gozo will be given the opportunity to create green spaces in their localities, with a total investment of €10 million. The investment forms part of a scheme announced this morning by Project Green agency.

Maltatoday reports that a man was ordered to pay €324,000 in damages to family of pedestrian he hit while driving.

Newsbook covers the continuation of the trial of Roderick Cassar, who appeared in Court on Wednesday morning to continue facing criminal procedures against him. Cassar, the estranged husband of Bernice Cilia, has been indicted over her murder after Magistrate Joseph Mifsud declared that there was enough prima facie evidence to do so.

Mid-Day Briefing

Firm gets oil exploration licence: A Maltese subsidiary of a Jersey-based oil and gas drilling company has been granted an exploration licence to drill in two maritime zones off southeast Malta. The licence will entitle Albion Energy Malta Ltd to explore offshore areas two and seven, which cover approximately 18,000 square kilometres, for a two-year period. The Finance Ministry said the licence binds the company to carry out geological and geophysical studies on existing data. (Times of MAlta)

Lawyers for Choice expect full consultation on abortion: The Lawyers for Choice group said it had expected ‘full consultation’ after PM Robert Abela said the government is in the final stages of redrafting the bill which will allow interventions which could lead to the termination of pregnancies when the mother’s life or health are in danger. Last Monday, the PM had re-iterated that the amended bill will specify that viable foetuses must be delivered, and more than one doctor would be involved in deciding whether a mother’s life or health are at serious risk. (The Malta Independent)

Three tremors hit Malta at night: A magnitude 5.2 earthquake to the south of Malta, was felt across the islands on Tuesday evening followed by two smaller aftershocks. The earthquake, which measured 5.2 on the Richter Scale, struck some 100km south of Malta at 9:25pm, the Seismic Monitoring and Research Group (SMRG) of the University of Malta said. The SMRG also recorded two smaller quakes measuring 4.3 and 3.6 on the Richter Scale at 10:42pm and 11:10pm respectively. (Maltatoday)

Morning Briefing

Two 16-year-olds arrested after Valletta attack

Two 16-year-olds have been arrested and will face charges in court this morning for alleged involvement in a group of youths who assaulted youngsters in Valletta on Saturday, severely injuring one of them. The police announced the arrest on Tuesday, saying it followed intensive investigations. A 15-year-old boy suffered a broken leg and required two operations. The incided sparked a national debate on security on the streets, with Prime Minister Robert Abela admitting that he felt unsafe allowing his daughter on her own in Valletta. (Times of Malta)

Konrad Mizzi denies contact with Yorgen Fenech on Electrogas

Former Labour minister Konrad Mizzi denied exchanging messages with murder suspect and former Electrogas director Yorgen Fenech over the project as he reappeared in front of the Public Accounts Committee. Testifying on the ongoing probe into the controversial Electrogas power plant, Mizzi said “I do not remember any correspondence with Fenech on Electrogas.” According to the investigation, Fenech was given privileged access to confidential documents and correspondence for at least three projects and ventures spearheaded by Mizzi. The former Energy minister insisted that there was no corruption in this project. (Newsbook)

HSBC online system crashes

HSBC’S online banking system crashed on Tuesday, after users flooded the bank’s online system after receiving a text message. Many had enquired on social media whether the message was a scam. The bank confirmed the message was authentic, but its Online Banking system, application, and phone lines crashed after bank customers sought clarifications. HSBC’s message sent to clients describes how the bank will be launching a simpler method to log in to Online Banking and how to authorise Online Banking transactions using their Mobile Banking App. (Maltatoday)

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