Maltese And US Government issue joint statement denying Debono allegations on spying

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The government of Malta and the United States have issued a statement, denying allegations made in a court sitting earlier this week dispelling allegations about “lack of trust in key individuals”.

“Our bilateral relations have been consistently strong and continue to go from strength to strength,” the statement said, and any “allegations to the contrary… are false and have absolutely no impact on our friendship and close collaboration”, the two governments said.

The statement indirectly referred to allegations done by alleged fuel smuggling masterminds Darren and Gordon Debono, in court.

Without referring specifically to these reports, the Malta-US statement said that the two countries “work together in a very transparent and honest manner, from economic and financial engagement, to cultural and educational exchanges, political consultation, and regional security and law enforcement cooperation, the Malta Independent reports

“Over the past three years, we have seen significant growth in our partnership with security and law enforcement elements along with cooperation against common threats to our countries.

“We are partners in finding solutions to issues of global transnational importance and Central Mediterranean security such as weapons proliferation, climate change, energy security, trafficking in drugs and persons, transnational crime, migration, and protecting our borders.

MaltaToday reports Debono this week said in court that US embassy officers had requested from him information on Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his chief of staff Keith Schembri, on incidents of refuelling of Russian ships, in exchange for leniency on American sanctions against him lifted. 

“Do you remember those two Russian ships that wanted to dock in Malta and that Malta didn’t allow to refuel? They told him to confirm whether the Prime Minister and the government took them outside territorial waters and whether he gave them fuel himself. They insisted on being given information and asked for information about the Prime Minister and Keith Schembri,” Debono’s lawyer Victor Bugeja said in court.

Full statement

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