Removal of Ian Abdilla clears path for prosecutions

23 June 2020

We welcome the news that Ian Abdilla has been replaced as head of the Economic Crimes Unit. His leadership of the unit will be remembered for its incompetence, lack of initiative, and blindness to the crimes of people involved in the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

We hope that the appointment of Alexandra Mamo in his stead is the beginning of a new era in fighting financial crime. During Joseph Muscat and Keith Schembri’s term at the Office of the Prime Minister, the Malta Police Force failed to prosecute the multiple and interrelated crimes which Daphne Caruana Galizia exposed, suggesting it was captured by organised criminal interests. As a result, Mamo now has to fight crime on two fronts: investigating the possible complicity of her former colleagues, including Silvio Valletta and Ray Aquilina, while investigating and bringing charges against Keith Schembri, Konrad Mizzi, Yorgen Fenech, Turab Musayev, and many others.

Prime Minister Abela must be proactive in giving Mamo all the resources necessary for her and her team to do their job properly, without waiting for anyone to ask for them, and ensuring that there is proper separation of powers to prevent direct interference in police work. This includes starting a Europol Joint Investigation Team, allowing Mamo and her team to freely pursue money trails across borders with the speed, efficiency and professionalism that has always been missing.