Malta News Briefing – Wednesday 26 April 2023

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Updated 1640 – Afternoon Review

The Times of Malta reports that an appeals court has confirmed a decision by the Administrative Review Tribunal that annulled a decision by the Lands Authority to take back part of a public garden that had been leased to Gżira local council. The authority wanted to take away 930sq.m of land from the Council of Europe Garden on the Gzira promenade to give it to the owner of a petrol station

Maltatoday says that Police Commissioner Angelo Gafà has “categorically” denied allegations of wrongdoing in the case concerning the non-prosecution of two top Pilatus Bank officials.

The Malta Independent, quoting NSO data, says that an average of 52 cars per day were newly-licensed in first quarter 2023.

TVM reports that a 50 year old car driver was ordered to pay €37,627 to a motorcyclist, also aged 50, after the Court held the former responsible for a traffic accident between the two.

Updated 1245

NGO seeks police protection after threats: Robert Aquilina, head of the rule of law group Repubblika has, through his lawyer, written to the prime minister and the police commissioner requesting protection for himself and his family so that he may exercise his right to freedom of expression without fear, harassment or threats. Aquilina’s lawyer revealed that his wife and children were recently targeted in threatening letters. “Harassment and dehumanisation of Dr Aquilina consistently takes place on media platforms, including social media, seeking to isolate him and to portray him as the enemy or the traitor of government,” the letter reads, while reminding of the circumstances which led to the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. (Times of Malta)

1,700 magisterial inquiries remain unresolved: A staggering 1,700 magisterial inquiries remain unresolved in the Maltese Law Courts according to figures tabled in the House by Justice Minister Jonathan Attard. The figures were disclosed in response to a parliamentary question by Opposition MP Jerome Caruana Cilia. The figures indicate that there were 186 cases initiated in the current year that are still pending, along with the 574 cases from, 275 cases from 2021, and 172 cases from 2020 that are also still unresolved. (Maltatoday)

PN gets new Communications Director: Journalist James Aaron Ellul has been appointed as PN’s director of communications. Currently he serves as minority leader on Floriana local council. He contested the last general election. In a statement, the Nationalist Party said Ellul, a journalist by profession, read for a degree in Maltese at the University of Malta. In 2022, he published a study on the Maltese electoral system focusing on the 2008 results. (Newsbook)

Morning Briefing

Corinthia seeks Government help for Sudan evacuation – reports

Foreign Minister Ian Borg said that there are no Maltese citizens in Sudan but an international company has asked Malta for assistance to evacuate their employees. According to a report published by The Times of Malta, the international company is Corinthia Hotels, which has a hotel in Sudan’s capital Khartoum. In parliament, Borg said that the country is helping an international company evacuate its workers, however, “none of the employees are Maltese,” he said. (Times of Malta)

Double-digit growth in victims of domestic violence

Malta has experienced a double-digit spike in women seeking assistance over the island’s epidemic of domestic violence crime. In 2021, the rate of women – who formed 78.9% of service users – who needed support over domestic violence, climbed by 12.9% over 2020. The NSO said tha the increase, compared to 2019, is 28.5%, from 2,565 to 3,295. The latest NSO data also reveals that during 2021, 171 persons – 94% male – made use of services available for perpetrators, such as the ‘Stop!’ programme at Aġenzija Appoġġ and the Department of Probation and Parole. (Maltatoday)

Roderick Cassar denied bail

The Court has denied a request by Roderick Cassar for bail. The man is charged with the murder of his wife Bernice Cassar on 22 November last year. Cassar is being charged with killing his wife with two shots from a firearm in the Corradino area. This after several instances of domestic violence against her. The accused had been arrested by the Police after a long-drawn-out saga in front of his residence in Qrendi. Mr Justice Neville Camilleri presided the Court in handing this decision. (TVM)

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