Now, everything changes

Steward Healthcare CEO Armin Ernst with Joseph Muscat

I will not be repeating what already has been said about the court’s judgment which handed back Malta’s public hospitals to the state and condemned the government’s deals as fraudulent. For historical posterity, however, I am uploading the court judgement.

Something which has been overlooked by some press coverage is that the civil case, initiated by Adrian Delia and the Nationalist Party is not just against Steward but also against Joseph Muscat as head of government who signed and executed the deals. The case is also against the attorney-general who approved the deals (Peter Grech). In its lengthy and detailed judgment, the court considered the deals to be fraudulent and implied that Joseph Muscat’s administration accepted a fraudulent deal, but did not go into the merit of whether Joseph Muscat engaged in this fraud willingly or unwittingly – that’s something the police have to confirm. Steward has received up to €300 million from government funds to refurbish Saint Luke’s and Karin Grech hospitals, build a new hospital in Gozo and upgrade medical facilities. The court has also ruled that Steward failed to fulfil most of its obligations. Joseph Muscat also received bribes from the recipients of the Vitals contracts (Vitals then passed on the hospitals’ concession to Stewards). Short-sellers have also published damning reports alleging serious fraud in the finances and company structure of Medical Properties Trust which is actually the company behind Steward Healthcare.

At this stage, there is nothing hindering the police from indicting Joseph Muscat and Konrad Mizzi who was Health Minister at the time of the signing of the fraudulent deals. The evidence is there along with a damning court sentence. With his inaction, Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa is unashamedly showing his true colours: a corrupt and criminal cop who is enthroned to do only one job which is the job to protect his previous and current political masters. However, Robert Abela believes he needs to play a clever game by simultaneously appeasing Joseph Msucat’s supporters and at the same time pretending to do something about corruption. So, as it always happens, given the rising anger in the country, Angelo Gafa may be passed over for the next Police Commissioner’s term and a new Police Commissioner is appointed to disappoint us again. Or, at this stage, Angelo Gafa may try to save face by hauling Joseph Muscat to court and then botch the case as he did multiple times with various criminal cases.

Yet, at this stage, what Angelo Gafa does is completely irrelevant. In a functioning rule-of-law and liberal democracy, such a damning court sentence would have prompted the police to act swiftly. It’s useless to keep hoping that the police are serious about corruption when time and time again, the police keep refusing to take action on what are irrefutable amounts of evidence of corruption. This is not simply the police refusing to prosecute a minister and her permanent secretary for giving an illegal job to the minister’s boyfriend. This is the police refusing to act on what is in Maltese history, one of the most well-documented cases of fraud and total corruption. Angelo Gafa will go down in history as just any other criminal cop who was enthroned by Labour to protect and cover up for corrupt politicians.

So, now everything changes because we are out of Labour’s propaganda loop that things are getting better. The emperor is naked. The collapse of rule-of-law is neither a one-off event which happened in 2019 nor a government phase which ended with Joseph Muscat’s resignation. We are back to square one as we are witnessing impunity for some of the worst crimes in the history of our state. Labour’s propaganda is now more ineffective than ever. The sense of entitlement of Robert Abela and his corrupt goons is fully exposed. Labour can now openly admit that it is the party of a small selected group of criminals without fearing any shame. The reality that the Labour Party has developed into a criminal organisation will slowly settle in even with some of the most dedicated Labour activists and Labour won’t be able to whitewash these crimes with gay parades any longer.  Let’s be clear. Selling public hospitals for a bribe is not very Labourite, let alone Mintoffian.

I hope that this is only the beginning of the struggle for justice in Malta. There is much more that we, the public can take back that has been stolen from us by Joseph Muscat’s mafia and criminal groups. The Electrogas consortium whose profits are bathed in the blood of a journalist should be next to go under strong scrutiny although the government will do its best to prevent this. We are literally living in this very bizarre time where Maltese citizens are fighting against their own government that serves the interests of small criminal groups.

This court judgment has rekindled in me a lot of hope that the mafia state can be defeated.

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