The prime minister can’t fire Mallia because it is really he who should be fired and he knows it

Published: December 9, 2014 at 11:45am

This is a good point and we should talk about it.


44 Comments Comment

  1. canon says:

    The three judges failed when they didn’t ask Manuel Mallia if he had contact with the Prime Minister about the shooting incident.

  2. Mandy Mallia says:

    Press conference live on Net at noon. (Obviously the leader of the Opposition’s, not the inadequate prime minister’s.)

  3. High Tea says:

    @H P Baxxter

    If you were Manuel Mallia you would have to resign too because your chief of staff, Silvio Scerri, instructed Kurt Farrugia to add the words ‘in the air’ after ‘warning shots’ and then lied to the board of inquiry about it.

  4. Volley says:

    He doesn’t have the balls to fire him let alone resign himself.

  5. La Redoute says:

    Cabinet is meeting this morning. Is Mallia there?

  6. Socrates says:

    Fil-verita’ dawk li kellhom jirrizenjaw paqq-pumm huma dawn il-mizerabbli:

    a. Il-Prim Ministru minhabba fl-allergija infrastrutturali li ghandu fid-decizjonijiet politici tieghu

    b. Dr Manuel Mallia minhabba l-arroganza perpetwa li biha mexa minn meta inhatar ministru tal-aktar gvern inkompetenti fl-istorja kollha tal-gzejjer Maltin, sa minn zmien il-preistorja

    c. L-Agent Kummissarju li jigi l-kugin ta’ Dr Mallia, li wera kemm kien dghajjef fil-qadi ta’ dmirijietu meta sehh il-kaz tal-isparatura, fatt accertat u rikonoxxut mill-invistegazzjoni tat-tliet imhallfin

    d. Kurt Farrugia, id-dott ( . ), li heba u hema stqarrija li ma kienitx tirrifletti l-verita’ tal-fatti

    e. Silvio Scerri, f’gieh is-sewwa li nafu dwaru permezz tal-media, halli pajjizna jehles u jitnaddaf wahda sew mill-imbarazz

    f. Paul Sheenhan forsi xi darba jinghata Gieh ir-Repubblika ghall-qadi ta’ dmirijietu billi bin-ne*k tieghu ta’ cowboy fit-toroq helisna mill-Akbar kallu li qatt seta jitlalu l-PL f’saqajh

    RIP – it-tliet kummissarji li diga’ kellna fl-ahhar 21 xahar ta’ gvern ba*wi tal-PL…

    Dwar il-Kummissarju li gej (Nittamaw li jiddeciedu sas-2pm tal-lum) nafu kemm ma jafx. Naghtuh ftit cans u naraw.

    Prosit lil Michael Falzon li harab min-nassa ta’ Muscat.

  7. WOW says:

    So will Ray Zammit remain in the Corps as an Assistant Commissioner?

  8. bob-a-job says:

    Din bhal ta’ Dalli gejja.

    ‘I never resigned’, ‘I am still Minister’, ‘I never signed the resignation letter’.

    The ‘Three Wise Men’ report’s conclusions had not been checked by Muscat and Dottor Mallia was not given the opportunity to explain his case.

    Circumstantial evidence. Ex-Nazzjonalisti.

    So many parallels.

    Joseph Muscat appointed Dalli his personal advisor. Will he now do the same with Mallia?

  9. Kukkurin says:

    Yes, this is definitely a matter over which the Prime Minister should be heading to San Anton Palace to advise the President to dissolve Parliament. He has lost the nation’s trust, and that is irreversible.

    The reason why the Prime Minister was so weak with his Cabinet Minister was because he was privy to the cover-up, at least to the extent of having been informed of the goings-on as they were unravelling, so say nothing of approving of the actions taken, and he knows only too well that his Minister is well aware of that.

    Hence the passing on of the retired judges’ report for the Minister to read and take his own decisions.

    Minister Mallia should have the report returned to sender for the Prime Minister to make his own decisions. And there is only one decision which is open to him.

  10. Mixed up says:

    I ask what would have been the motivations of the police to cover up the incident.

    Simply because they wanted to assist a fellow policeman? Are the police a fraternity?

    Whoever made this cover-up was motivated by something beyond protecting Sheenan.

    It’s those motivations which need to be addressed. Who knows who were they trying to protect, Sheenan, the Minister or the Labour government?

  11. ciccio says:

    Do you think Mallia will bring out the guns – so to speak – against the prime minister, and ask him to go because it is the prime minister who is responsible for the government information?

    I am still waiting for a colpo di scena. Or maybe just a coup.

  12. pablo says:

    And this explains why the Labour intelligentsia, like Jason and Cuschieri, are so upset with those damned whistleblowers. who endangered the political life not of Manwel, but of their patron Joey Muscat.

  13. Newman says:

    The report of the board of inquiry notes that a cover-up can be active or passive.

    It says that there is a passive cover-up when one fails to furnish the information one is expected to provide in a democratic society.

    That looks like a promising start but the board then quickly dismisses the idea not by argument but by simple stipulation.

    It says that in this case, “…ma jistx jinghad li kien hemm xi cover-up passiva …”.

    What about the length of time it took the authorities to arrest Sheehan?

    What about the Prime Minister saying that he had no idea at what time he was informed about the incident?

    Is it credible that Kurt Farrugia had no inkling that the shots fired were not warning shots ‘fl-arja’?

    I am sure you can think of several other questions which require an answer before concluding that there was no attempt at a passive cover-up by the ‘political people’ independently of the active cover-up carried out by Sheehan’s friends in the police force.

  14. Mila says:

    More importantly, Mallia knows it, although choosing Sheehan, praising and defending him should have been enough for Mallia to have to go.

  15. ciccio says:

    Baxxter says that the cover-up was massive, purple, naked, covered in glitter and dancing on the piano.

    I’d say that if it was just massive, red and naked, it would have caught at least Cyrus’s attention, and he might have posted a picture of it – with himself and Randolph kissing each other next to a Christmas tree in the background – on Facebook.

    I am totally with Baxxter, and I have already ventilated (‘ivventilajt’) my opinion on this website.

    Once the mess has been proven as a cover-up, the political ranks who are responsible must fall like in a domino effect – all the way to the Prime Minister, via the Police Commissioner, the Police Minister, the Police Minister’s Chief of Stuff and the Chief of Communications.

    On the night of 19 November, by 11.00pm, the public of Malta was already in shock because they knew already what had happened in Gzira and at the University tunnels, and by 11.30pm, they knew also that a cover-up was under way.

    The media was doing its job: it was reporting facts on a real time basis.

    We were told that even the DOI was doing its job and was informing the public in real time, but what a different story it was giving us.

    And when it was clear that a difference had emerged between the version of the media and that of government, the DOI called it a day, turned off the lights, and fell silent.

    So by midnight the very least, Joseph Muscat should have turned up at Castille and should not have left the place before his Communications Coordinator, in his pyjamas, had finished typing away a new press release making clear that a cover-up was taking place, and that the truth was that a car had been hit with bullets shot by the driver of a cabinet Minister, who the Prime Minister will ask to carry political responsibility.

    Instead, they all chose to go home for the night. I imagine that the Prime Minister was probably hungry, and couldn’t resist the temptation of some ross-il-forn prepared by the Wife of the Prime Minister before telling his wife that he has a headache.

    Can someone imagine this happening in a private sector enterprise? Imagine something goes wrong in the IT system, and rather than working round the clock to get it fixed, the employees just leave the building hoping it will fix itself.

  16. Louis Amato-Gauci says:

    The only possible distinction between a political cover-up and any other kind of cover-up is motive, which is totally irrelevant in the course of a criminal prosecution, except perhaps at the time of sentencing, after a finding of guilt.

    In this case, there could have been several different motives at play. Each actor in this drama may have had his or her own personal motive, and those personal motives may have shifted over time as the events of November 19 unfolded.

    In no particular order, possible motives may have included the following: protecting Sheehan from prosecution; positioning Sheehan as the hero who saved the day; protecting Mallia from prosecution or political fallout; shifting all the blame onto a convenient fall-guy; concealing a network of ongoing illicit activity involving any number of public servants; concealing a pre-existing relationship between Smith and Sheehan, or between Smith and Mallia, or between Smith and other members of the police force; protecting the government’s reputation; protecting the reputation of the police force; protecting the Acting Commissioner’s personal reputation; or perhaps concealing some unknown “twist” in Mallia’s family arrangement.

    No doubt there are other possible motives. All are irrelevant. There is no first, second or third degree to the offences of perverting the course of justice, tampering with or spoliation of evidence, or subverting due process.

    It is equally possible that some of the perpetrators were unwitting dupes in this holy mess. In other words, the dupes never formed criminal intent, but were too foolish to realize that they were being used for nefarious purposes. While this may serve as a defence for any innocent bystander, it is simply not enough to exculpate the Prime Minister, or Kurt Farrugia, or the Acting Police Commissioner, or any of the senior police officers who attended at the crime scene and failed to take steps to prevent its further contamination, or indeed any of the other politicians or public servants involved, whether by act or omission, in formulating and implementing this cover-up.

  17. Jozef says:

    I think Mallia refuses to resign given the reason outlined in the report.

    He’s been judged as having failed to vet the statement properly, leading to ‘skorretezzi’ in the final draft.

    Given that Mallia isn’t responsible for what the OPM issues, but only that by his ministry, the legal eagle won’t budge on this point.

    Again, Muscat comes across as the slob who copied someone else’s homework and will now cry foul.

    Not to mention who’s ultimately responsible for that statement, exonerating Farrugia by default.

    Come to think of it, Mallia did insist he had no idea what was in that statement.

    Could be that Kurt Farrugia was indeed forced to go and sit next to him during that now infamous press conference and not the other way round.

    Thus Muscat subscribed to political responsibility, only that it’s simply so convenient here.

    • Tabatha White says:

      “Given that Mallia isn’t responsible for what the OPM issues, but only that by his ministry, the legal eagle won’t budge on this point. ”

      In legal fact, Mallia stands over Joseph’s Muscat dead body.

    • ciccio says:

      “Could be that Kurt Farrugia was indeed forced to go and sit next to him during that now infamous press conference and not the other way round.”

      I am convinced that Mallia would have insisted on addressing that conference with Farrugia sitting next to him.

      Farrugia and the prime minister are ultimately responsible for the quality of the information in the press release because the Department of Information falls under the ‘jurisdiction’ of the Office of the Prime Minister.

  18. il busu says:

    Il veru kaz li tgħid “li kieku mhux tal-biki il-veru tad-daħk”.

    Mela ghandna prim ministru li ħalef li jirreżenja jekk ma jlestix il-power station sa Marzu 2015.

    U ma rreżenjax għax mhux raġel biżżejjed li jżomm kelmtu.

    U issa jippretendi u jitlob lil Manuel Mallia biex jirreżenja.

    Kieku kont flok Mallia kont ngħidlu “la ma rreżenjajtx int fuq kelma ta’ raġel (sic) kif tippretendi li nirriżenja jien?”

    Kif jgħidu: “L-eżempju jkaxkar”.

  19. Joe Fenech says:

    He can. but Mallia will have his revenge somehow or other.

  20. pablo says:

    Back into the political skip ye go. An opportunist and all fancy talk.

    All Malta now knows you were in it up to your eyeballs. Orrajt siehbi, it hurts.

    I know it hurts because your pals were in on it too but you took the whole rap.

    Choose better friends next time – that is, if you find any.

  21. Anthony Cachia Castelletti says:

    Very well put

  22. Gahan says:

    Now we shall observe what will happen in the “oil scandal”.

    Will the Farrugia brothers be prosecuted, as Angelo Gafa said they should have been?

  23. c says:

    According to Muscat, Mallia was fired because he had to issue a corrected press statement as soon as he knew the facts. The Times reports that Mallia told Kurt Farrugia and Ramona Frendo that he wanted to wait until all facts are verified before issuing a correction.

    Similarly, Muscat did not take corrective action by sacking Mallia immediately he knew the facts but said he wanted to wait for the result of the inquiry.

    Therefore by the same logic Muscat has to go.

    The buck does not stop with the minister. I am sure there are other facts that Muscat & Co are hiding from the public. There are still questions to be answered such as:

    Where was Muscat on the night of the accident and what did he do when he was informed of the shooting?

  24. Joe Tedesco says:


  25. Angus Black says:

    As predicted, the three judges were given certain parameters which they were not to exceed.

    On the other side of the pre-imposed limits sat Joey, Keith and Kurt. They watched from behind the glass bubble as Mallia and his cousin Ray became the sacrificial lambs, tainted as they were.

  26. Albert Bonnici says:

    I am sure that Manuel Mallia will not take his ‘firing’ sitting down. There is more to come.

    • ciccio says:

      I am with Manwel Mallia on this matter of who should resign. Justice must be done and it must be seen to be done.

      He is responsible, but he is not the only one who is responsible. The other culprits should be held accountable too.

  27. Madoff says:

    I have a feeling a public standoff between Joseph Muscat and Manwel Mallia is coming soon unless some successful horsetrading happens in the next hours.

  28. Mila says:

    Did Muscat read the same inquiry report we did?

    On the 28th Nov and 4th Dec Silvio Scerri denied that he had seen the statement intended for the DOI, even when confronted by the Act. Police Commissioner.

    The Board of enquiry then pressed Scerri further and showed him the e-mail that was sent to him and Scerri finally relented and even admitted to having been the one to add ‘in the air’ as well adding the information that Mr. Smith had refused to do the breathalyzer test. The Board confirms that these additions by Scerri were done by telephone AND e-mail. (inquiry report pg. 4)

    So Scerri lied on the 28th of Novermber and lied some more on the 4th of December. He was not defending himself for being fed the wrong information but he was lying about knowing anything about the matter, even in the face of tangible proof.

    Yet this is what the PM is reported as saying ”Asked about Silvio Scerri, Dr Mallia’s chief of staff, Dr Muscat said it is up to Carmelo Abela to appoint his secretariat, but, he pointed out, the inquiry found no fault with Mr Scerri.” TOM

    The inquiry found Scerri not at fault of a cover up but it states as plain as day that he lied and by saying otherwise, the prime minster is also lying.

  29. PWG says:

    Very true. Once the Prime Minister’s Office took responsibility for the statement, then it was up to its staff to verify the facts.

    Kurt Farrugia was fully aware that the information he was fed by the Police Commissioner was the driver’s version of events, except for the ‘warning shots’ and the ‘tiri fl-ajru’.

    Had the Prime Minister’s spokesman really wanted to amend the statement some time after he issued it, he would have woken his boss from his slumber and asked him to overrule the minister’s reluctance to change it.

    Minister Mallia, privy to all this, was not prepared to jump alone, thus ensuring that the closure the Prime Minister yearned for will not materialize any time soon.

    • H.P. Baxxter says:

      Let’s recap the closure.

      Ray Zammit – Still Deputy Police Commissioner

      Ramona Attard – Still Head of Communications at the Police & Army Ministry

      Kurt Farrugia – Still Head of Communications at OPM

      Silvio Scerri – Still Chief of Staff at the Police & Army Ministry

      Manuel Mallia – Still MP, and soon with a powerful and lucrative constitutional post

      Joseph Muscat – B’min trid titnejjek?

  30. C.G says:

    Look who needs to smell the coffee now.

  31. A Montebello says:

    From The Times today:
    “Dr Muscat said he would like to see a future role for Dr Mallia.”

    So we can expect some lucrative, cushy package for Mallia in the near future. It’s one way to buy his friendship. Same as with John Dalli and that convicted criminal, Cyrus Engerer, who is now living it up in Brussels.

  32. Ginu says:

    What price will the taxpayer pay for Manuel Mallia’s head?

    What cushy appointment/job/promotion awaits Mallia to stop him being a thorn in Muscat’s backside? Will he be made the new Ombudsman?

  33. Tal misthija says:

    Dr Mallia, il-prim ministru qal li fil-lejl tad-19 ta Novembru int cempilltlu. Int ghedtlu li ma kienux warning shots u li kienet ntlaqtet il-karozza?

  34. curious says:

    Kurt Farrugia and Joseph Muscat are as guilty as Silvio Scerri and Manuel Mallia.

    They should have all resigned but now the prime minister is being portrayed as the victim and sacrificial lamb. He still hasn’t told us who phoned him that night, at what time and where he was. What exactly did they tell him?

    It is incredible that from the comfort of our living rooms, most of Malta knew what was happening and that Smith’s car had bullets in it while Kurt Farrugia was relying on Manuel Mallia who in turn was relying on the Acting Police Commissioner for information.

    Either way they were not fit for their posts and I agree with Baxxter when he said that if he were Mallia he would ask for the resignation of Joseph Muscat.

  35. Joe Attard says:

    This case sets the standard or redefines the parameters of a colossal cock up.

    What about commissioning an inquiry report about the government’s mishandling of the whole matter – the length may well exceed that of this other report by a good margin.

Leave a Comment