Let’s start off with context, and then go through events logically.
The latest revelations are that the ultimate beneficiary of Egrant is Michelle Muscat – wife of the Prime Minister – and they have been made by the journalist and blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Ms Caruana Galizia broke all the Panamagate news in Malta – and, crucially, has been proved right on all counts. This is important because it sets context for everything else.
To illustrate: If I, Queen Pea, accuse Mr X of being a thief and am proved right, and then I accuse Ms Y of being a thief and I am proved right again, and then I do the same for Mr Z and Ms A – and again I am right. When I announce that Mr B is a thief, all around me are going to believe me – because I have proved that when it comes to catching thieves I am a veritable Ms Marple, and not a dotty old lady crying wolf.
Now let’s go through a string of pertinent events which are all connected.
- The Prime Minister goes to Azerbaijan taking no civil servants with him.
- Agreements made with the Azeri President Aliyev are not made public.
- Malta’s Auditor General subsequently flags the lack of complete documentation of two hedging agreements reached with SOCAR in April 2014, and Eur14.1 million are lost due to hedging carried out with SOCAR Trading.
- A year ago, the FIAU chief resigns – in August 2016
- The Police Commissioner Michael Cassar also resigns in August 2016
- DCG releases blog-post saying that the ultimate beneficiary of Egrant is Michelle Muscat and that money has been transferred through Pilatus bank from Aliyev’s daughter to Egrant.
- Current Police Commissioner refuses to take action without the Prime Minister’s instructions – when it is completely his remit to take immediate action.
- What the Commissioner DID do is send plain clothes police officers to the premises of Pilatus bank to ensure that no one, apart from the Iranian owner, goes in to the premises.
- The owner of Pilatus bank – a 33-year old Iranian man with 4 passports – flies in on a private jet and dashes to the Pilatus premises.
- Then we have my favourite event of all – the Iranian owner and his side-kick are seen sneaking out of Pilatus bank in the dead of night carrying COMPLETELY INNOCENT LOOKING SUITCASES stuffed to the gills.
- Once that’s done a private plane takes cargo to Azerbaijan and Dubai (let’s not forget to talk about Dubai and the fact that the PM and his wife were there on ‘holiday’ at EXACTLY THE SAME TIME as the million dollars were transferred to Egrant).
- Then, and only then, does the PM wake up from his stupor and order a magisterial enquiry. And by happy happy coincidence it happens to be Magistrate Aaron Bugeja who is ‘on call’. (context: Aaron Bugeja was the first Magistrate appointed by JM when he became PM.)
Notes and thoughts:
The banking system works when you have honest banks – when you have set ups which are between banks of questionable repute, then you don’t have the whole audit trail available.
When you send a magistrate who is not specialised in financial fraud, how can you get a proper investigation done?
We need to take into account the whole MFSA palaver, and the allegations that Pilatus Bank was investigated by the MFSA and that Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri’s names were left out of the resulting report.
You want proof? Proof is in the actions that people have taken too. When we watch Scooby-Doo we KNOW that the shady character, acting suspiciously in the background, is always the Baddie.
Sometimes, things are alleged because of bad timing, because of false accusations, because of misunderstandings. When everything, but EVERYTHING, points in the same direction – it’s pretty darned obvious what that conclusion is.
It walks like duck, it talks like a duck, it smells like duck …
Let’s not ducking kid ourselves
It’s a ducking duck!