Matthew Caruana Galizia has called for restitution from people and businesses who robbed money from the public purse for their own personal gain.
“If someone robs you, it’s not enough to punish them but you must ensure they return what they stole,” Caruana Galizia said during an interview on Jon Mallia’s podcast Il-Podcast ta’ Jon.
“I believe most people understood things like this. If a group of people used bribery to profit off the sale of our hospitals, we need to get our hospitals back, but also the money that was paid to those people.”
Caruana Galizia, son of assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, drew parallels between Malta and sub-Saharan African countries which have managed to acquire financial reparations for past crimes.
“If it’s good enough for Rwanda, Congo or Nigeria, it’s good enough for Malta,” he said.
“Malta needs to do its utmost to recover the money that has been lost to corruption; contracts have to be torn up as a start but we have to go further in terms of criminal justice and restitution. I believe it’s a plausible situation for the future.”
In his interview, Caruana Galizia also expanded on his proposal – which he first made in 2019 – on the European Union to establish an FBI-style police organisation to tackle cross-border crime.
“It’s entirely fair to put all the blame on Maltese investigators; some of them are doing excellent work but the fact that Malta is a microscopic country will never change, whatever our visions of grandeur,” he said.
“We will always have a small diplomatic service and a relatively small government budget so we depend on international tools to properly fight corruption and money laundering, of which we are victims.”
“It’s extremely difficult for Malta’s police to gather evidence from some jurisdictions, including some places where they don’t even have embassies. We must strengthen European authorities so they can have Malta’s back.”
He drew parallels between the current state of the EU and the USA, before the FBI was founded in1908.
“Before the creation of the FBI, if I committed a crime in New York and ran off to California it would be very easy for me to get away with the crime,” he said.
“It was only when the FBI was created that the US got the proper tools to stop this kind of activity. The EU can do this in a piecemeal way, whereby a cross-border force or authority will first be given the remit to cover very specific crimes like bribery and money laundering, and then have it extended further.”
Have you watched Matthew Caruana Galizia’s podcast with Jon Mallia?