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MALTATODAY 20 November 2022

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TRUTH IS OF NO COLOUR WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT SUNDAY • 20 NOVEMBER 2022 • ISSUE 1203 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY maltatoday PAGE 2 Pilatus case for arbitration could put spokes in wheel for prosecution Is population growth behind poverty increase in Malta? PAGES 14-15 Poverty paradox WORLD CUP HEROES €1.95 A photomontage for the proposed ST Tower of 17 storeys in Ta' Xbiex has opened a can of worms over the way a planning policy can exclude high-rise projects that obstruct the iconic view from the University of Malta to Valletta – something that has been ignored under successive administrations. The photomontage from Michael Stivala's architects suggests that the Metropolis high-rise, first approved under a Nationalist administration in 2009 and renewed under Labour in 2014, is in breach of local plan policies NHSE 07 and NHSE 08, which clearly states the PA should "refuse development permission for any proposed development that is likely to have a detrimental effect on strategic view." The illustrator joins a star-studded line-up in this year's Malta Book Festival MT3 Gattaldo KARL AZZOPARDI ESTABLISHED medical canna- bis companies could be looking to set their foot in Malta's fleg- dling recreational cannabis mar- ket, according to sources who spoke to MaltaToday. Releaf, the NGO that led the campaign to legalise recrea- tional cannabis, fear that the sacking of the Authority for Responsible Use of Cannabis's first director could lead to the dealer-driven black economy for cannabis poised for a take- over "an equally profit-driven market run by a few friends in high places." High-rise photomontage reveals policy breach in Metropolis approval PAGE 4 PAGE 6 Activists fear medical cannabis companies want in on recreational market Controversial, but irrestitble, World Cup is here PAGES 10-13 MATTHEW AGIUS ARBITRATION proceedings brought against the Maltese gov- ernment by Pilatus Bank's own- ers, Alpene, could be holding up the investigation and prosecu- tion of the bank's directors over money laundering allegations. The legal wrangle unfolding before both the World Bank arbitration tribunal (ICSID) as well as the American and Mal- tese courts, concerns a deci- sion by ICSID that could have 'halted' criminal proceedings brought against the bank by Malta, until a decision on Al- pene's case is delivered by IC- SID. Alpene, the Hong-Kong based company that owns Pilatus Bank, is insisting that the two MFSA consultants who wound up the bank, testify in its case against Malta at ICSID. The arbitration proceedings filed by Alpene, which is also owned by Pilatus Bank head Ali Sadr Hasheminejad, gave rise to two requests for disclosure of evidence before the Ameri- can courts. Alpene's requests are direct- ed at the US residents whom the MFSA appointed to con- trol Pilatus Bank when it was shut down after the arrest of Hasheminejad in 2018. He has since been acquitted of breach- ing American sanctions against Iran.

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