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MALTATODAY 21 July 2019

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YOUR FIRST READ AND CLICK OF THE DAY WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT maltatoday 2 today SUNDAY • 21 JULY 2019 • ISSUE 1029 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY MATTHEW VELLA THE suspected fuel smuggler Darren Debono, currently fac- ing charges in Italy, has held meetings with a naval attaché from the United States embassy in Malta in a bid to have sanc- tions on his ships and other assets lifted by the Office of F o r e i g n A s s e t s Control. Debono, a former Malta international footballer now out on bail in Malta, was asked to collaborate with the embassy by offering up infor- mation on the smuggling trade and networks in the Mediterra- nean, as a precondition to have the OFAC sanctions lifted. Debono is currently fending off restrictive measures on his ships, as well as from Maltese banks, which have prevented him from accessing various savings accounts and pension funds due to the American sanctions. Together with Gordon Debono, also charged by Italian police for his involvement in a €30 million Libyan oil smug- gling ring, the pair are now ask- ing the courts to prevent Malta from designating further sanc- tions against them. But a recent attempt by the Maltese government to have United Nations sanctions is- sued against the Debonos, was inexplicably prevented by Rus- sia, one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. Now Debono has revealed in an affidavit to a Maltese court, that in a formal request to the US embassy to have OFAC sanctions lifted, a naval attaché requested that he collaborate by giving information on vari- ous smuggling networks in and around Malta. PAGE 3 Americans 'making life hell' for suspected fuel smuggler, who fi les affi davit saying embassy wants him to spill beans on smuggling gangs maltatoday Q and A Gaia Cauchi This Week Joanna Demarco and Ann Dingli on upcoming exhibition The Spaces That Connect Us Film The Kinemastik Short Film Festival 2 The all new pull-out section INSIDE • LISTINGS • TV • LAW • CLASSIFIEDS SEGRETARJAT PARLAMENTARI GĦAL PERSUNI B'DIŻABILITÀ U ANZJANITÀ ATTIVA SEGRETARJAT PARLAMENTARI GĦAL PERSUNI B'DIŻABILITÀ U ANZJANITÀ ATTIVA Premju għall-Kontribut Eċċezzjonali fid-Dimensja L-applikazzjonijiet tal-Premju Nazzjonali fil-Qasam tad-Dimensja jagħlqu nhar l-Erbgħa 7 t'Awwissu 2019. Premju Carer Informali Premju Professjonist / Tim fil-Qasam tad-Dimensja 2590 3173 P R E M J U NAZZJONALI F I L- Q ASA M Americans told Debono to reveal Malta smuggling networks INSIDE MT2 €1.95 today today JULIA FARRUGIA On the fi ght against human traffi cking in Malta INTERVIEW 16-17 Accused: (clockwise) Fahmi Slim, Gordon Debono and Darren Debono. The Americans think they know more about Mediterranean smuggling trade OIL SCANDAL Judge orders prosecution to speed up evidence MATTHEW AGIUS A judge has ruled that the Attorney General is breaching the fundamen- tal human rights of two men in- volved in the oil scandal, by delaying their case for over six years and has ordered the prosecution to close its evidence by the end of 2019. Two business partners in bunker- ing firm Island Bunker Oils – the Virtu group director Francis Por- telli, 69 of Ta' Xbiex, and Cassar Shipping boss Anthony Cassar, 69, of Tarxien – had been charged with corruption and money laundering, albeit not specifically in relation to the alleged kickbacks paid to an En- emalta consultant. They are being charged for their role as directors in Island Bunker Oils and its subsidiaries Eldaren Shipping, Oarsman Maritime, An- chor Oils, FP Holdings, AOH Ltd, Gringrams Holdings, Island Oils Holdings and Anchor Bay Maritime, for having corrupted former En- emalta chairman Tancred Tabone and Frank Sammut, the former chief executive of Mediterranean Off- shore Bunkering Company Limited (MOBC), between the years 2002 and 2005. (MOBC), between the PAGE 6 BANKING SHOCKWAVE Bank of Valletta to stop custodian services on €4 billion assets after Swedish pensions litigation PAGE 2 SLAVES IN PLAIN SIGHT National campaign's bid to alert Maltese to traffi cking victims 13 GOLDEN MOON 50 YEARS FROM THE 1969 LUNAR LANDING PAGES 14-15 AND ONLINE LIFE ON MARS: SPACE ODDITY?

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