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The MEP who speaks for all

The Labour Party has a problem with European parliamentarian David Casa and, evidently, anybody else who, like him, stands up to be counted.

Having lived the Labour government of the 1980s, Mr Casa knows what he is up against and does not fall for the gloss and doublespeak that now characterise Labour’s whole political spectrum. He thinks, as many others, that something is very amiss at the highest echelons of government.

Mr Casa says he possesses a 128-page report by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit that is so damaging that Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi’s and the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Keith Schembri’s days could be numbered. Their names have come up so many times before that Mr Casa’s accusations cannot be taken lightly.

The report, he says, is still being looked into, the paper trails being followed and it may be released in a few weeks’ time. He is also examining the possibility of presenting the report in court in a bid to launch a magisterial inquiry. He accuses the FIAU of having been sitting on the report for a year.

The FIAU’s reaction was shocking and the only thing it could say was that the report had not been “finalised”.

For Mr Casa, the FIAU has been reduced to a government mouthpiece and it is starting to look that way. The agency has come to signify all the failures of government institutions. If one were to look for evidence of the failure of rule of law in Malta, one need look no further.

Then, the FIAU threw down its ace card. It warned that disclosure of any information or document illegally obtained from it constituted a criminal offence. It said: “Using the FIAU for purposes of political expediency is very much a double-edged sword causing harm to the country in general and exposing FIAU officials to unnecessary safety and security risks.”

But failing to act, or even to ‘finalise’ a report, also damages the country. This phony reference to national interest is on old adage from the days of Dom Mintoff.

Mr Casa reacted declaring he could not care less about threats of legal action and will continue to do his job.

The MEP has found himself facing again, as others did before him and will continue to do so, accusations of working against the interests of the State which, in pure Labour speak, means working against the political party in government and/or those benefiting from it.

Unsurprisingly, there emerged out of the political doldrums Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, chairman of the Malta Council for Science and Technology, to tell Mr Casa he was behaving like a tabloid journalist. He accused Mr Casa of “destabilising our democratically-elected government”.

Does Dr Pullicino Orlando realise that a democratic election does not make right what is wrong?

A democratic country does not threaten whistle-blowers with criminal action. A democratic country takes action promptly where it is due.

A democratic country prides itself in ensuring all institutions are well-equipped and allowed to do their duty.

A democratic country ensures that the wheels of justice start turning immediately once there is reasonable suspicion of any wrongdoing, especially involving those at the top.

It has become insufferable to live in a country deluded by economic statistics.

Mr Casa speaks for many.

This is a Times of Malta print editorial

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