MP Franco Debono believes there is so much corruption in Malta that there is a need for ‘Mani Pulite’ to clean it up. In one of his blogs he writes: “Does Malta need the equivalent of the early nineties ‘Mani Pulite’ in Italy? Nothing less.” ‘Mani pulite’ (clean hands) was a judicial investigation into political corruption carried out throughout Italy in the 1990s. The main political parties disappeared when their involvement was exposed and some politicians and businessmen committed suicide after their crimes were uncovered. The corruption system was referred to as ‘Tangentopoli’ or ‘The city of bribes’.
Debono writes: “every week the odour of corruption surrounds some story or other. No wonder Malta continued to slip in the international corruption perception index. No wonder GRECO (Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption) has been chasing us for years to implement a law on party financing. Corruption is the greatest enemy of the state.”
Debono says that: “Malta has no decent Commission Against Corruption, the Police are demotivated and ill-equipped … we have no Whistleblower Act and no Law on Party Financing. Moreover and this is the crux the Security (Secret) Service is under direct political control, now even worse, under the Prime Minister. In Malta it is the Prime Minister who must issue warrants for the interceptions of this or that drug trafficker, but also this or that civil servant, or . . . minister! Will that ever happen?!?”
Debono lists the reforms he has proposed covering 24 major areas in justice and home affairs: “I suggested the Security (Secret) Service warrant pass under the control of an independent judge or magistrate and that is why I suggested the establishment of specialised inquiring magistrates. Only in that manner can the cleansing which this country needs and the lack of which is corroding its social fabric can be effected.”