Flying files and laptops

▪️ Flying files and laptops ▪️ To beg and to dictate ▪️ Madam President

I am always fascinated when laptops, files, and flying saucers go missing from the Law Courts, especially if they happen to be objects shelved somewhere in there to be used as evidence. The most recent case to become public (last March) was the disappearance of a laptop that had already been exhibited in court as evidence in a case against a car dealer charged with money laundering. What has been described as a “crucial piece of evidence” had been exhibited two months earlier by none other than the Financial Crimes Investigations Department.

The officiating magistrate sternly ordered the Court Services Agency CEO and the registrar to explain. Have they done so since? If they have, we certainly haven’t heard anything about it in the media. Has the laptop been retrieved? More silence. Important files had previously vanished in connection with other cases and nothing more was heard about them. Who has access to what should be a strongroom and not a boring, normal court office?

Flying files and other things from the law courts constitute a serious matter, as serious as when a more important laptop made its way to Germany where police authorities refused to hand it to their Maltese counterparts in another friendly EU member state, hampering, in the process, the search for justice in every sense of the word. Had it been the opposite, Malta denying Germany an important piece of evidence in a judicial case splashed and headlined across the globe, we’d have seen the EU sharks from the Fatherland coming out – protruding teeth first – and, ja, demanding for it to be handed in as soon as possible.

But wonder of wonders, flying files no longer seem to be a Maltese phenomenon. Recent reports revealed a number of sensitive files that were supposed to be kept in a special room and under strict security disappeared from the Europol headquarters in The Hague. The missing files are believed to contain personal information of senior enforcement officers. Even worse, when Europol officials examined all the agency’s records, they discovered that there were more files missing from the building.

It would be an understatement to say that, given Europol’s role as a law enforcement authority, the disappearance of employees’ personal files establishes a serious security case and breach of personal data. As one of the European Union’s largest agencies, Europol regularly coordinates major international investigations and operations with national police authorities, including, of course, the Maltese corps, and other partners like Interpol and the American FBI.

It is sad to realise that when security areas are illegally accessed for files and laptops to be taken away for suspicious purposes, there is hardly ever a retrievement of the flying objects. ET’s handiwork, perhaps?

To beg and to dictate

I honestly have never witnessed a US administration so lost, bewildered by events, and committing left, right, and centre, contradictions of massive concern to peace-loving people across the globe than this Biden circus.

The latest example, indeed a screamer, is the US Treasury coming out to warn China against helping Russia. The Treasury chief herself, Janet Yellen, said China “will face serious consequences” for providing assistance to Russia. Translation: basically, China will face such consequences if they continue to disregard US orders. So we have now reached the stage where the US and its allies seemingly cannot allow a country on the other side of the world to take a policy position different to theirs.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Photo: REUTERS/Florence Lo.

The most ironic of this unpleasant development in international relations is that, while dictating to China, the US is begging China to help it with its colossal $35 trillion debt. This is of course a result of the contrast in economic fortunes. While China’s economic growth is a reality, achieved against all odds, the US and European economies are struggling to survive against the efficient Chinese economic model. Even more ironic, with all the sanctions and tariffs imposed on China, the US economy still couldn’t keep up. Is that a Chinese or an American problem?

There is a growing awareness of the fact that market economies have been looted by bankers and politicians who, not surprisingly, then expect to keep the rest of the world under their thumbs, controlling everyone everywhere, and forcing people to live in perpetual poverty and servitude. Africa and South America, having to deal with a non-stop rotation of regime changes, dictatorships, and perpetual social dissent, provide perfect examples of this ugly situation.

Madam President

There has been widespread praise for Madam President Myriam Spiteri Debono’s first public speech. It covered sensitive issues that have been smouldering on the nation’s daily agenda for decades. It showed early commitment to a justified cause – the change in mentality with regard to constitutional and political reforms and the positive reality of immigrant workers in our communities.

I am not surprised. Our new President has shown, in the past and in other important posts she has filled, her strong and persuasive approach to situations that for others may be deemed too complicated and impassioned to be solved.

We are lucky to have the right person in the right job at the right time.

Myriam Spiteri Debono, the 11th President of Malta.
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