Today’s newspapers carry the disturbing story about a man who repeatedly raped his infant nieces while baby sitting them. This story is given its importance and carried on three front pages. Other stories include reference to Pilatus Bank Whistleblower Maria Efimova’s twitter account, the decision by ERA on the DB Group’s development in St George’s Bay despite the impact it will have on the area, the continuation of the Nationalist Party General Council, the issue of pollution and information about the high price of gas, compared to the interconnector.
Jesmond Saliba’s Newspaper review follows.
<<25 years jail for man who raped nieces aged 3 and 5>> is the main front page story reported on MaltaToday. The newspaper carries the disturbing report about ‘a man who repeatedly raped his infant nieces while babysitting them. The man was jailed 25 years ny Judge Antonio Mizzi. ‘Legal sources described this as the worst case of child sexual abuse Malta has ever seen.’ In a detailed account of what was said in court, journalist Matthew Agius reports that ‘The abuse started when the girls were just three and five years of age when they were entrusted to him as babysitter. He was only arrested in 2016 after one of the girls by then 18 years of age, had plucked the courage to file a report with the police. The man was charged with rape that was aggravated by the fact that the victims were minors and he had been entrusted with their care. The story is carried on the front page of L-Orizzont, <<Sofrite il-vjolenza domestika minn meta kella tliet snin>>. Importance to this disturbing story is also given in terms of prominence by The Times of Malta, which presents the story on the front page in a report entitled <<Jailed 25 years for raping nieces>>. Matthew Xuereb reports Police Inspector Joseph Busuttil, prosecuting, told the court how the man was often trusted to take care of the two young sisters by their unsuspecting parents. It was 10 years after the abuse stopped that the eldest girl found the courage to go to the police.
In a second story, Maltatoday reports that <<Maria Efimova’s Twitter account no longer active>>. Efimova, the Pilatus Bank whistleblower, had her twitter account disabled a month after the Russian naitonal joined the social media platform. The account was used as a direct channel of communications by Efimova ‘to name the Pilatus Bank employees whom she said were guilty of wrongdoing, and urged them to follow her example and come clean.’
The backpage story of Maltatoday focuses on the former ITS site. Entitled <<ERA does not say no to 37-storey tower>>, James Debono report states that “while confirming that the 37-storey tower proposed on the ITS site will have a “high adverse residual impact” on the entire cultural landscape of St. George’s Bay, ERA has not said ‘NO’ to the massive development on the ITS site by the DB Group.
Another story on Malta Today’s backpage refers to <<Cultural Projects get €23 million in funds>>. These funds will derive from European Regional Development Fund.
The Malta Independent leading story is about recent information given on the issue of domestic violence. The report entitiled <<Most domestic violence victims from Northern Harbour District>> refers to data given by Minister Helena Dalli during a press conference on the subject. A second story entitled <<Accused requests delay of trial by jury for bank robberry>> refers to a request by Vincent Muscat, one of three men accused of the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was due to go on trial on 18 June, after he was indicted for his part in the 2010 HSBC robbery. Lawyer Arthur Azzopardi filed the request ‘arguing that the negative pre-trial publicity regarding his alleged involvement in the Caruana Galizia murder would prejudice potential jurors against his case.” The front page of The Malta Independent also carries a photo of Rihanna, attending the Metropolitan Museom of Art’s Costum Institute benefit gala.
On the backpage one can read an opinion piece by Anthony Licari entitled <<Lying as a survival instinct>>, which attempts to provide an understanding on the nature and existency of lying.
The Times leads with another story related to the ElectroGas email leaks and the DaphneProject. Journalist Jacob Borg in a story entitled <<Interconnector cheaper, Electrogas report showed>> reports that “a leaked 2017 report drawn up for Electrogas raised concerns that Enemalta might seek to renegotiate contract terms once it noticed the “extra costs” of buying gas at the five-year fixed price. “The concern is that Enemalta would have direct evidence of the extra costs incurred by buying LNG at a high price in today’s market,” Poten – Electrogas’s energy consultants – wrote in the report. Since the price was fixed in April 2015, gas prices have crashed. It emerged last month, in a Daphne Project expert analysis of the leaked contracts with Electrogas, that Malta paid close to double the market price in 2017.”
The backpage of The Times carries an opinion piece entitled <<Trickle-down economy>> where Carmel Mallia, President of the Alliance of Pensioners Organisations, writes that “it is the duty of all our Members of Parliament to address the problem without further delay and take appropriate measures to upgrade the social dimension for the common good of all those concerned. The Alliance of Pensioners Organisations recommends that a financial safety net should be put in place to ensure that those who are at the lower strata of society will have an adequate income to upgrade their standard of living. It is only then that these people will be able to feel that they form part of a caring society where equal treatment and social justice prevail. If this target is attained, the trickledown effect of our economic growth and wealth will become a reality and not remain an illusion.”
<<Ambjenatalisti mħassbin bl-impatt tat-traffiku>> is the leading story of L-Orizzont. The article refers to the concerns by a number of environmentalits who expressed their concern about the increase in Carbon Dioxide emissions in Malta, which is generally linked with traffic and car usage. The backpage of L-Orizzont carries a story about the political situation in Italy. <<L-Italja b’possibilita’ ta’ elezzjoni ġenerali oħra>> refers to the current impasse in Italy following the failure to find agreements about having a government following the elections in March. A photo story is placed at the top of the back page. The photo shows a man demonstrating how much Iranian Rials are needed for one US Dollar.
In-Nazzjon, entitled <<Negħlbu l-isfidi b’leħen wieħed>> carries a report of the speech delivered by the PN Leader during another activity which forms part of the ‘General Council’ of the Party. Another story we find on the front page is related to the collapse of facade, in the process within which it was being dismantled, so that the building makes way for a block of apartments. The newspaper carries a series of lead on stories, including a reply by Education Minsiter Evarist Bartolo on the issue of a school in Victoria, which was dealt with in a previous edition of the Newspaper and a contribution by Dr Carm Mifsud Bonnici on the 40th anniversary since the murder of Aldo Moro.
The backpage of In-Nazzjon entitled <<Muscat u l-‘bella compania’ jiddevertu ghall-finali tal-lum f’Ruma is about the Prime Minister who together with a number of close friends of his, are going to see the Coppa Italia Final between Juventus and Milan. The Prime Minister is known to be an AC Milan fan.