Malta-24 – News Briefing – Saturday 27th June 2020 UPDATED

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Updated 1235 – No new coronavirus cases

There were no new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, the Health Department said on Facebook. With three people recovering during the same timeframe, the number of active cases has gone down to 26.

870 swab tests have been carried out.

Updated 1024 – Newspaper Review

The Times reveals that the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit will be given investigative powers to be able to launch probes into reports independently of the police. The results would then be presented directly to the state prosecutor to make charges in court.

The Independent quotes Finance Minister Edward Scicluna who said that Malta is doing its best to avoid being grey-listed by the Financial Action Task Force and that the government is working ‘night and day’ to implement the necessary legislation.

L-Orizzont says that the police are still waiting for Moroccan authorities to extradite a Libyan national, three months after the original request. The man is a suspect in the murder of a 62-year-old man from Santa Luċija, discovered in March.

In-Nazzjon quotes PN Leader Adrian Delia who addressed a national conference on sport held by the party. Delia said that sport is a priority for the PN and that a nationalist government would appoint a minister responsible for sport.

The Independent reaches out to Labour Party president Daniel Micallef who is being touted as a contender for the role of party deputy leader. Micallef would neither confirm nor deny his interest in the contest.

L-Orizzont reports that a new legal notice now guarantees 60 hours leave for persons undergoing an assisted procreation process. Minister Carmelo Abela announced the amendments to the Employment and Industrial Relations Act on Friday.

The Times reports on the arrival in Balluta bay of Neil Agius who swam 103 kilometres from Ragusa in Sicily in under 29 hours. The swimmer completed the feat to raise awareness about sea pollution.

In-Nazzjon says that a large crowd gathered in St Julian’s to welcome swimmer Neil Agius, who crossed successfully from the south of Sicily. The paper says that the initiative shows how sport contributes to raise awareness to social issues.

 

Update : Konrad Mizzi has confirmed that he will stay on as an independent MP but will support the Labour government. In a Facebook post, Mizzi said he had informed the Speaker about his decision.

 

Following the recent political turmoil erupted with new revelations made in Court this week, which have raised further issues related to governance and the rule of law, attention turned to worrying comments expressed by a US official on Malta’s money laundering and financial crime compliance efforts.

The official remarked that that Malta was likely to fail this October’s Moneyval test on money laundering and financial crime, thus being placed on its grey-list. This could potentially have significant repercussions on Malta’s ability to attract foreign direct investment.

Reacting to these statements, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna insisted that Malta was doing all it could to avoid grey-listing. This included granting investigative powers to its Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit. This would allow the Unit to charge suspected individuals and companies directly in court. At present the FIAU reports such cases to the Police, and it is the latter authority which would then have to investigate. Moneyval last year said that while investigations by financial regulators increased, there was little evidence that the Police then took the required action once provided with intelligence.

Covid-19 update

The Department of Health announced two new cases between Thursday and Friday, identified from 946 swab tests. Five persons have since recovered, meaning the number of active cases is back below 30.

The number of total cases has now reached 670.

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