The Maltese government has issued a statement in regards to grave allegations that Malta’s Embassy in Brussels was used to spy on European Union institutions by China over a decade ago.
They referred to an article in French newspaper Le Monde, saying the article made “various incorrect allegations that such equipment is being used for illicit purposes”.
The article had alleged that espionage was happening without Maltese authorities’ knowledge via furniture and other items the Chinese government had donated to the embassy known as Dar Malta.
“The government clarifies that renovation works carried out in 2007, under a different administration, on the site housing the Permanent Representation were carried out at the expense of the government of Malta thirteen years ago,” Malta’s government said.
The government went on to clarify claims that China had built and renovated the nine-storey building in 2007 at a cost of €21 million.
“It was only furniture which was donated by the government of the People’s Republic of China to install, in line with the relevant security procedures, in the Permanent Representation, to which the government remains thankful.”
Indeed, Malta refrained from being too critical of the Chinese government’s gift, saying “the building housing the Permanent Representation has been the subject of internal and external audits and found the building to be in the clear”.
“Moreover, 80% of the mentioned furniture has over the past two years been disposed of and replaced by new furniture procured from Malta,” they continued.
“It is also important to clarify that the Permanent Representation’s security system has been overhauled and improved over the past two years.”
Since the allegations were made public, Malta’s former ambassador to the EU, Richard Cachia Caruana, told The Times of Malta that the article is “completely incorrect”, stressing that all furniture and fittings provided were scanned and checked.