How did Justice Minister Owen Bonnici’s claims to MEPs on Monday stack up against the facts? Jacob Borg looks at four key claims.
Claim: “In its commitment towards transparency, Malta is one of the few European countries that publishes the names of individuals who obtain citizenship. The nature of the due diligence checks is also public.”
Fact: The government publishes a general list of all people who became naturalised citizens over a one-year period, not a specific list of people who bought Maltese and EU citizenship under the cash-for-passports scheme.
The scheme’s regulator has endorsed a call by local lobbyists to remove the names of passport buyers from this annual list. The regulator instead suggested that MPs should be given access to the data under an oath of secrecy.
Claim: “In Malta we have a functioning rule of law. We have judges, we have police, we have