medNews

Malta back to the EU’s “safer” travel list

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Malta has been officially removed from the red travel list following weeks of an increase in COVID-19 cases. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has put Malta on its red list in mid-July, when the number of new infections spiked right after it opened up to tourists and having removed some of the restrictions. The number of active cases has gone down to 641. 36 patients are being treated at Mater Dei Hospital, with two patients in intensive care. The pandemic has claimed 435 lives so far.
(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

Caruana Galizia, accused businessman faces life imprisonment

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Attorney General is requesting life imprisonment for Maltese businessman Yorgen Fenech for his involvement in the murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Fenech is also being indicted for complicity in the 2017 murder and criminal conspiracy. While the first indictment carries a life imprisonment, the second carries a sentence of 20 to 30 years in prison.
Fenech will stand trial as he stands accused of masterminding the murder. Two alleged hitmen, brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio will also face trial, while a third man, Vince Muscat, has already been sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to murder.
The Bill of Indictment was filed by Deputy Attorney General just before a scheduled sitting in a bail request before the Criminal Court.
The prosecution said that Yorgen Fenech ordered cyanide powder from Ukraine and a number of weapons, including grenades and guns, and hundreds of bullets in 2018. The information came from emails found on Fenech’s devices that showed how he paid in Bitcoin for the poison and weapons.
The prosecution presented messages exchanged between Fenech and his brother as proof that the acccused was attempting to flee from Malta to Palermo when he was arrested in November 2019. The prosecution shot down the defencès argument that Fenech was only taking his yacht from Malta to Siciliy for repairs by insisting that the repairs were scheduled for January 2020.
(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

Malta, people smuggling ring smashed before boarding to Italy

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Maltese authorities have arrested a suspected human smuggler from Bangladesh at the Malta International Airport. The 36-year-old man was part of a group of 11 people from Bangladesh who were stopped during passport control before boarding a plane to Italy. The individuals were suspected to be in possession of fake documents.
During a search, the police found a substantial amount of cash and other items which indicate that the 36-year-old man was organising and assisting the trip for the rest of the group using fake documents to travel to Italy. The Immigration Police were assisted by the Anti-Money laundering squad in their investigation.
(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

Malta plans third Covid vaccine booster from september

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Maltese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health Chris Fearne announced that as from mid-September, the Maltese health authorties will start administering an additional booster dose to immunocompromised individuals and those in homes for the elderly. Fearne added that fully vaccinated individuals will spend less time in quarantine if they come into contact with a coronavirus patient. From 16 August, all those who are fully vaccinated will spend seven days in quarantine instead of 14. The quarantine period will end once a negative test is presented. However, these new rules will not be applicable to household contacts, the Covid positive patient themselves or travellers. Meanwhile, due to the high rate of vaccine uptake, the Maltese health authorities will not increase restrictions to curb the spread of the virus. To date, 392,100 individuals have been fully vaccinated. Superintendent of Public Health Professor Charmaine Gauci said that 95% of the cases reported over the past week have been attributed to the Delta variant. She added that the majority of cases registered in July were individuals travelling to Malta. During the same month, over 700 cases were registered among English language students, however all schools took the necessary measures in this regard and have reopened for those who are fully vaccinated. The number of active cases in Malta stands at 1,134. There are 36 Covid-19 patients in hospital, of whom four are in intensive care. So far, the pandemic has claimed 424 lives.
(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

New fast ferry service from Malta to Sicily suspended due to legal action

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The new ferry service from Malta to Augusta will be suspended following a legal challenge before the Sicilian authorities by another competing operator.
The competing operator objected to Pontès use of Augusta port for which the company had applied last November. The operator does not operate to Augusta port. Local competitor Virtu Ferries, which was not mentioned by Ponte Ferries, said that it had not filed any legal challenges. Tickets for Ponte Ferries’ fast ferry catamaran service to Sicily went on sale on 23 June, with one-way trips starting from as little as €9.99. However, Ponte Ferries announced that customers who have booked ferry trips in the coming days will be offered an alternative travel arrangement as the company has chartered an aircraft. They will also be given a free voucher for car rental. Alternatively, customers can claim a refund and will, in addition, be given a voucher to use the service for free over the next 12 months. A spokesman for Ponte said: “Pontès objective from the start has been to offer an alternative ferry service to Sicily for customers who want value and a choice of operators, and we remain committed to fulfilling our mission”.


Source: medNews

Malta, Sicilian man arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – A Sicilian man was arrested by the police in Malta on serious suspicions of drug trafficking. The police confirmed that the 48-year-old man was arrested on Friday afternoon after days of surveillance.
The police raided his car and residence in Sir Charles Cameron Street in Gzira. During the search, 20 small packets of cocaine and around € 3,000 in cash were seized by the police.
The police investigations are still ongoing, however the Sicilian is expected to be arraigned before court on Sunday accused of drug trafficking.
(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

Malta, the Caruana Galizia family accepts an apology from premier Abela

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The family of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia assassinated four year ago, has accepted Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abelàs apology. This was stated by Caruana Galiziàs son, Paul, during an online press event held on Friday afternoon after a parliamentary session in which both sides of the House discussed the findings of the three-judge board of inquiry. The inquiry report, which was published on Thursday, concluded that the Maltese state must shoulder responsibility over the death of the journalist as it had created a favourable environment for those who sought to eliminate her. The 437-page report concluded that although there is no proof that the Maltese State was actively involved in the murder, the culture of impunity was created from the highest echelons of power within former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s office. Paul Caruana Galizia explained that the family had experienced great difficulties. However, he added that the conclusions are a step forward towards attaining full justice and that the family is expecting complete accountability.
(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

Inquiry, Maltese State responsible for Caruana Galiziàs assassination

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – A public inquiry into the killing of investigative Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia concluded that the Maltese State must shoulder responsibility for the assassination of Caruana Galizia for creating a culture of impunity which infiltrated the country’s institutions. In a 437-page report the inquiry did not found any evidence that the Maltese State was actively involved in the murder, but concluded that a culture of impunity was created from the highest ranks of power within the former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s office. “The impunity was generated at the highest levels at the heart of administration and like an octopus spread to other entities such as regulatory institutions and the Police leading to the collapse of the Rule of Law”. The public inquiry found Muscat as “indirectly responsible” for Daphne Caruana Galiziàs death for failing to sack his Chief-of-Staff Keith Schembri and former energy minister Konrad Mizzi for the setting up of secret companies in Panama. Schembri and Mizzi were planning to do business with Daphne Caruana Galizia murder suspect Yorgen Fenech’s secret Dubai company 17 Black. “While Muscat could justify his decision to keep them on after the Panama Paper revelations by saying it was a wrong political decision, he certainly could not do so on 17 Black which implicated both Schembri and Mizzi in serious criminal allegations”. In its conclusions, the report said the Maltese State did not recognise “the real and immediate risks, including the criminal conduct of third parties, on the life of Daphne Caruana Galizia” and failed to take the necessary action to protect the journalist. Noting that Daphne Caruana Galiziàs murder was “intrinsically, if not exclusively” linked to her investigative work on major projects involving big business, the report said the police are not excluding the involvement of other parties behind those currently charged with her murder.
Brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio are charged with planning and executing the assassination while Fenech stands charged with organising and financing the assassination. The third man charged with planting the bomb, Vince Muscat, was sentenced to 15 years’ jail after reaching a plea bargain agreement. Melvin Theuma, who claims to be a middleman in the murder, secured immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony. The Maltese Parliament will convene on Friday morning in a special session to discuss the report from the public inquiry into the death of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

COVID-19, positive students stuck in Malta returned to France

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Malta continued to register further increase in new coronavirus cases. The local health authorities confirmed 166 new cases on Thursday, 33 cases less than the previous day.
With 2,487 active cases, Maltàs COVID-19 rate is the fifth highest in the European Union. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), only Cyprus, Portugal and Spain and the Netherlands have a higher case rate per 100,000 people.
No deaths were recorded in the past 24 hours. Malta is the only country in the EU to have a death rate of zero for these last three weeks. The local health authorities are attributing this situation to the high vaccination rate. A total of 17 coronavirus positive patients are currently being treated at Mater Dei Hospital, one of whom is in the Intensive Care Unit.
Active Ageing Minister Michael Farrugia has been released from hospital after tests confirmed that there were no undue complications from his Covid-19 infection. Farrugia was tested positive last Sunday.
Meanwhile, a group of 128 French students, who are positive for Covid-19, returned home earlier this afternoon with a special flight operated by ASL Airlines France which specialises in medical flights. Almost 200 students had already been repatriated on two flights on Monday and Tuesday to Italy, Germany and Spain. All of these turned out to be negative for the virus although some were in quarantine. It is understood that more than 500 students who were studying English in Malta tested positive for coronavirus. Malta has had 33,198 cases of coronavirus since the start of the pandemic which has claimed 420 lives so far.
(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

Malta, flights to repatriate students blocked for Covid

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – As Malta has been red-listed once again by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the Maltese authorities started to repatriate the first groups of foriegn students who were in Malta to study the English language. Malta has seen an upsurge in COVID-19 cases as from last week following different clusters of foreign students from Italy, France, Germany and Spain who were found positive to coronavirus. As a result, the Maltese government ordered the closure of all English language schools on the island. The repatriation programme is coordinated and financed by the Malta Tourism Authority. The first flight with 58 Italian and around 30 German students left Malta at 10.15 and arrived at Romès Fiumicino airport at around 12.20. The last stop was scheduled at Frankfurt airport. All students had to undergo a swap test before boarding in order to provide a negative test result upon their arrival in Rome and Frankfurt. The recent increase in Covid-19 cases has made Malta one of the worst-affected regions in Europe. During the last 24 hours, the Maltese health authorities registered 146 new cases, bringing the total number of active cases to 1.963. Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela decribed the present situation as “under control”.
(ITALPRESS).


Source: medNews

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