Malta Health Minister silent on medicine stocks for radiation emergencies

Outgoing Malta Health Minister has not replied to questions asking about the stock levels of potentially life-saving medicine which would need to be used in the event of a nuclear radiation emergency.

A few days ago, lawyer Michael Zammit Maempel suggested that Maltese journalists should ask about the stock of potassium iodide and potassium iodate pills in Malta.

Upon his suggestion, I tried to ask this legitimate question to the Maltese Health Ministry. But so far it’s been radio silence. I’m not surprised since this is the same ministry that blacklisted me during the covid pandemic after I was asking questions that the ministry found uncomfortable.

The safety of Maltese citizens should be a government’s priority. You deserve to know whether or not your government has the resources to guarantee your safety.

As Russia’s war rages on, more and more people are asking whether or not Robert Abela’s government is capable of handling the ongoing crisis.

Related news about the medicine I asked Chris Fearne about:

Euronews:

Ukraine war: Europeans rush to buy iodine pills amid fears of nuclear catastrophe

Reuters:

Putin’s nuclear comments lead to rush for iodine in Central Europe

Deutsche Welle:

Radiation: Does iodine help?

Looks like Malta Labour Party is behaving like Putin – John Sweeney

‘It looks like the Malta Labour Party is behaving like Vladimir Putin,’ remarked journalist John Sweeney on Twitter.

Sweeney said this in light of a billboard put up by the Labour Party in the streets of Malta. It features the face of blogger Manuel Delia. The Labour Party had subjected journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia to similar treatment in previous years. She was assassinated in 2017 amid a climate of hate fostered by the ruling Labour Party.

It looks like the anti-corruption and pro-Ukraine blogger Manuel Delia is Robert Abela’s new target.

The billboard received international condemnation.

Questions raised about Robert Abela’s passports sold to Russia

Things are not looking good for Malta’s ruling party. Ever since Putin decided to attack Ukraine (with no justifiable cause) the number of questions about the links between Russia and the Malta Labour Party has been increasing.

Just now, PN MP Jason Azzopardi said that it’s in the national interest for people to know how many passports Robert Abela’s law firm sold to the Russians.

Times of Malta had reported that Robert Abela’s firm stopped selling passports on January 13th 2020.

The official website for the cash for passports scheme has a list of all its licensed agents. According to the website, the list was updated yesterday.

Malta refers Russia’s war to the International Criminal Court

Malta, along with 38 other countries, has referred Russia’s war against Ukraine to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for investigation.

The ICC is commonly referred to as ‘The Hague’.

Malta is a state party to the ICC’s statute. According to the statute, a “State Party may refer to the Prosecutor a situation in which one or more crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court appear to have been committed requesting the Prosecutor to investigate the situation for the purpose of determining whether one or more specific persons should be charged with the commission of such crimes”.

Such referrals allow the ICC to expedite its investigations.

In a statement ICC Prosecutor, Karim A.A. Khan QC said:

“my Office had already found a reasonable basis to believe crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court had been committed, and had identified potential cases that would be admissible”

The ICC adds that “if anyone has information relevant to the Situation, this can be submitted to the Office of the Prosecutor via: otp.informationdesk@icc-cpi.int.”

Featured image: ICC

John Sweeney is in Ukraine

Journalist John Sweeney is currently reporting out of Ukraine.

People from Malta may remember that John Sweeney is the guy who had the courage and wit to brand Joseph Muscat as ‘the Artful Dodger of Europe‘. He also called him the “passport-seller-in-chief”.

Manuel Delia, who co-authored a book with Sweeney, interviewed him yesterday. You can watch that interview here.

Sweeney is posting many updates from Ukraine on his Twitter feed.

You can support Sweeney’s work here:

Crowdfunder: Taking On Putin

Patreon: JohnSweeneyRoar

In photos: Repubblika’s stand with Ukraine initiative

A number of people from Malta and abroad joined Repubblika’s initiative to show solidarity with Ukraine online.

A simple gesture that helps to show Ukrainians that the world hasn’t abandoned them.

Repubblika sent out these screenshots to the press:

Well done Repubblika!

Byron Camilleri silent on what we’re sending to Ukraine

Outgoing Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri is keeping tight-lipped about what humanitarian aid Malta is sending to Ukraine.

Why is this question being asked to Camilleri you might ask? It’s because Foreign Affairs Minister Evarist Bartolo told me that questions about what Malta is sending to Ukraine should be asked to the Ministry of the Interior. You can read about that here.

Unfortunately, Camilleri didn’t reply to the questions sent to him by the time this article was published. If Byron Camilleri and his colleagues are trying to convince the world that they are changing their pro-Kremlin stance, they’re not doing a very good job. Following my blog post yesterday, even more questions are being raised about Putin’s reach in Malta.

I’ll keep chasing Camilleri so that we’re all better informed and not kept in the dark about yet another issue.

I’m glad that my reporting is already proving useful for Maltese journalists. Unfortunately, most of them have their hands full already with the general election. Yesterday, the Times of Malta picked up on my very first blog post and confirmed my reporting. That story was about the police moving items left in protest in front of the Russian Embassy. You can read my blog post on that here.

Partial win: Malta suspends golden passports for Russians

We’ve achieved a partial win. Malta announced that it suspended its cash for passports scheme for people from Russia and Belarus.

It’s a partial win because this suspension is only temporary. And it only covers passport applications from people of Russia and Belarus. The whole scheme should be scrapped altogether.

On the 21st of February, I called on Malta to stop selling passports because it was creating a security risk for the European region. It took Malta’s government a further 9 days to reluctantly reach this conclusion.

It’s strange that we have to move heaven and earth to change Malta’s pro-Kremlin stance. More on that here. It shouldn’t be this way. Robert Abela should be leading the Maltese fight against Putin and what he stands for. Unfortunately, the job of defending democracy and freedom is once again left to the same journalists, activists, and citizens.

We are allowed to celebrate this as a small victory. But it will be a true victory once this whole sham of golden passports is ended once and for all.

Malta’s pro-Kremlin stance raises suspicions

Malta’s pro-Kremlin stance is being scrutinised as Russia continues to wage war against Ukraine.

As the EU strengthens its stance against Russia, Malta facilitates access to the union for Putin’s friends by selling them passports and citizenship. The Maltese opposition and a number of Maltese activists are pleading with the government for it to stop this dangerous practice.

PN MP Therese Comodini Cachia was one of those asking about Malta PM Robert Abela’s ties with Russian oligarchs.

Comodini Cachia also raised similar questions on the 28th of February.

Malta’s top blogger Manuel Delia also raised concerns on his blog today.

“…Joseph Muscat and his associates are making money from this and they stand to make more money as Russian oligarchs run out of options,” writes Delia.

Matthew Caruana Galizia is continuously calling on Malta to stop selling passports.

PN MEP David Casa said that Robert Abela should “stop serving Putin’s oligarchy”.

Dutch MP Pieter Omtizgt is also not impressed.

While Malta (finally) lifted the travel ban for Ukrainians due to the coronavirus, those that somehow manage to make it to the island will still have to fork out €100 per night for a quarantine hotel. This was reported by the Times.

Robert Abela’s statements about the war Russia continues to inflict on Ukraine have been very soft on Putin. He also hasn’t attended any pro-Ukraine demonstrations (unlike EP President Roberta Metsola).

Furthermore, the little statements of pseudo-solidarity he made only infuriated those supporting Ukraine.

A few days ago, Newsbook reported:

Robert Abela said he is grateful that he lives in Malta as one can appreciate “serenity, peace of mind and peace” that the country enjoys, while other countries, including fellow EU member states, bordering Ukraine are concerned about the influx of refugees leaving the former Soviet state after it was invaded by Russia.

In light of all this, Malta should firstly stop selling its passports. It’s creating a security risk for everyone in the European region. And secondly, Malta should start an inquiry into Russia’s influence among Maltese politicians and institutions.