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Repubblika Welcomes New PN Proposal To Criminalise Membership Of Mafia-Like Groups

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Civil society NGO Repubblika has welcomed the PN’s new landmark good governance bill, particularly its proposal to introduce a specific law against organised crime.

“At first glance, it seems that the Opposition’s proposals include a number of proposals that Repubblika had put forward in the public inquiry, particularly those intended to address the reality of mafia-style organised crime that has developed in the country,” the NGO said in a statement.

“We must express our serious concern that it seems the government intends to forget about Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder and the public inquiry. Such efforts are intended to kill Daphne again and make sure corrupt people remain in charge. We hope that the government will immediately start the process of updating our laws in light of the public inquiry report.”

Earlier today, Opposition Leader Bernard Grech announced the PN has completed a bill with 12 Acts intended to improve good governance in the wake of the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia and Malta’s greylisting by the FATF. 

One of them is an Act to introduce specific anti-mafia legislation, something countries like Italy and the United States have introduced.

While the PN’s bills have yet to be published, Repubblika’s proposal states that the law should define a mafia-type organisation as “an organisation whose members use the power of intimidation deriving from the bonds of membership, the state of subjugation and conspiracy of silence that it engenders to commit an offence, to acquire direct or indirect control of economic activities, licenses, authorisations, public procurement contracts and services or to obtain unjust profits or advantages for themselves or  others, or to prevent or obstruct the free exercise of vote, or to procure votes for themselves or others at elections.”

“Membership of such an organisation is in and of itself a punishable offence even if a Mafioso cannot be directly linked to the execution of any crime committed by Mafiosi on the organisation’s behalf,” Repubblika said

“Penalties are aggravated if the members of the organisation are found to have access to weapons or explosives for the purposes of furthering the aims of the organisation.”

“The absence of the legal option to pursue component members of an organised criminal organisation whose membership and association can be proven, even if their direct involvement in the commissioning or execution of a specific crime perpetrated on behalf of that organisation cannot be proven, risks allowing people who should rightly be held responsible for what happened to Daphne Caruana Galizia to get away without giving account to their action.”

Cover photo: Left: Republika president Robert Aquilina, Right: Opposition leader Bernard Grech

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Tim is interested in the rapid evolution of human society brought about by technological advances. He’s passionate about justice, human rights and cutting-edge political debates. You can follow him on Twitter at @timdiacono or reach out to him at [email protected]

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