Scerri Herrera has been ruled unfit to be a judge. It follows that she is also unfit to be a magistrate.

Published: January 8, 2017 at 8:35pm

A judicial appointments committee made up of the Chief Justice, the Auditor General, the Ombudsman, the Attorney General and the president of the Chamber of Advocates has decided that Consuelo Scerri Herrera is unfit – not for reasons of incompetence but because of her sleazy private life and financial affairs – to be made a judge.

She is, however, already a magistrate – and has been one since Prime Minister Alfred Sant appointed her back in 1998 when she was just 33.

If she is unfit to become a judge, it therefore follows naturally that she is unfit to be a magistrate, and that she has held that post for several years while being unfit to hold it.

So – what do the Judicial Appointments Committee, the Justice Ministry, the Commission for the Administration of Justice and the shadow minister for justice plan to do about this? Because clearly, the problem has got to be solved.

Everyone who now appears in court before Magistrate Scerri Herrera will be aware that they are appearing before, and having their cases decided by, an individual who has been ruled unfit to be a judge.

The matter cannot stop here, and quite obviously has got to be referred to the Commission for the Administration of Justice. As the situation stands, the magistrate can only be removed through impeachment, which requires a two-thirds vote in parliament (and that means the support of Labour MPs, who include her brother, the Environment Minister, for her impeachment) after a recommendation by the Commission as distinct from the Judicial Appointments Committee.

It is worth recalling that Scerri Herrera has long been deemed unfit to carry out her duties. Seven years ago, when I reported on this website that she routinely dined out with politicians and journalists, and invited them to her parties – citing specific cases in which she was seen having dinner with Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando when he was appearing before her as a defendant or plaintiff – the Chief Justice, Vincent Degaetano, withdrew from her court, within 24 hours of my report being published, a very long list of libel cases and transferred them to another two magistrates. This is exactly how Magistrate Francesco Depasquale came to be the default magistrate for libel cases. Before that, it was Scerri Herrera.

That news – a big story, and one which should have been of particular interest to newspapers because it involved libel and politicians – was not published anywhere except on this website. The newspapers were too busy chasing red herrings in those days, and helping Muscat be elected. Two of those newspapers were even run by a man who was secretly involved in corrupt dealings with Keith Schembri, who was at the time masterminding the Labour Party’s electoral roadmap for the sole purpose of getting into power to engineer corrupt deals which would populate his offshore companies with assets. They hadn’t yet brought Konrad Mizzi on board as their tool and cabinet signatory.

The magistrate with her underpants on display, socialising with the Prime Minister’s wife.

The magistrate walking down Republic Street to a day of work at the Courts of Justice.

The magistrate at dinner in a restaurant with her boyfriend, government consultant Robert Musumeci, government minister Michael Farrugia, and his girlfriend, Identity Malta director Amanda Mifsud.

The magistrate at a party with businessman Hugh Anastasi, in whose villa the Labour Party’s major campaign video, ‘Ded, jien ha nivvota Lejber’ was filmed.

The magistrate, second from right, with – on either side of her – her brother Jose Herrera’s electoral canvasser Doreen Sciberras and Omar Cucciardi, who was a Planning Authority inspector at the time.

The magistrate at lunch at Xlendi in Gozo with her boyfriend Musumeci and with government minister Michael Farrugia and his girlfriend, a director of Identity Malta.

The magistrate having coffee and a gossip in a Valletta cafe with Pamela Seychell, personal assistant to the Prime Minister’s wife. Mrs Seychell is on secondment to the Office of the Prime Minister from her civil service job at the Capital Transfer Duty Department, which handles the registry of tax on capital transfers (shares and real estate).

Sandro Chetcuti, president of the Malta Developers Association, and Karen Mugliett, whose husband Jesmond is a former government minister and was a Nationalist MP at the time, at the magistrate’s birthday party in Gozo.

The magistrate with Lydia Abela, a high-ranking Labour Party official, whose father-in-law was the head of state at the time.

The magistrate with her brother, who is now Minister for the Environment.

The magistrate cutting her birthday cake at a party packed with politicians and media people, many of whom were at the time appearing in cases before her as defendants, plaintiffs and witnesses.

Labour politician Miriam Dalli and her sister, the former Labour Party television newscaster Veronique Dalli (now a lawyer who worked for Jose Herrera’s firm), at the magistrate’s birthday party.

The magistrate with waxing-salon owner Ignatius k/a Natius Farrugia, Labour mayor of Zurrieq, who has a criminal conviction for harassment.

The magistrate (on left, in backless dress) with her brother Jose Herrera’s electoral canvasser.

The magistrate socialising with guests from politics, the media, business and real estate development at one of her parties.