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WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT WEDNESDAY EDITION €1.00 Newspaper post WEDNESDAY • 3 AUGUST 2016 • ISSUE 480 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY PG 9 • Editorial Government contradicts PN claims of FIAU resignation link to Panama Papers MATTHEW VELLA THE Nationalist Party is demanding expla- nations into the resignation of the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit's director Manfred Galdes, claiming the anti-money laundering unit was investigating Maltese nationals impli- cated in the Panama Papers revelations. However, government said it was not aware of any reasons surrounding his resignation. The PN said the resignation was a serious one that put more pressure on Prime Minister Jo- seph Muscat, whose chief of staff Keith Schem- bri and minister without portfolio Konrad Miz- zi were both revealed to have used Panama's Mossack Fonseca to open offshore companies and trusts, and open a bank account in Panama. "On 5 April, finance minister Edward Sciclu- na said in parliament that the FIAU was investi- gating Schembri and Mizzi. Four months later, the FIAU director has resigned. This raises se- rious questions that Muscat must answer. "Has the FIAU concluded this investigation? Has its report been passed on to the Commis- sioner of Police and when? What steps did the Commissioner take? Do Muscat, Schembri and Mizzi have a copy of this report? Will Muscat publish this report?" The FIAU was run by Galdes together with the Attorney General and the police force's Economic Crimes Unit, and serves as the prime response point for understanding money laun- dering patterns and other ways of terrorist fi- nancing. PAGE 2 Wilful damage to Quran can be considered hate crime – EU expert MATTHEW VELLA THE desecration of places of worship such as mosques, synagogues or churches as well as – depending on the context – publicly displayed religious objects are both con- sidered serious hate crimes in various EU member states. But although Malta has revoked a law against the vilification of religion, a Euro- pean policy expert has suggested that the intentional damage to copies of the Quran at Mater Dei Hospital could be penalised as a racist hate crime under the Maltese Criminal Code provision on wilful dam- age to public property (Article 325) coupled with the apparent racist motivation which courts are obliged to take into account (Ar- ticle 83B of the Maltese Criminal Code). The European anti-racism law and policy expert who spoke to MaltaToday referred to the EU's Framework Decision on com- bating racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law, whose implementation the EU Commission is currently monitoring in all Member States. "The Framework Decision obliges EU states to penalise 'the intentional public in- citement to hatred or violence', commonly known as 'hate speech', on a number of grounds including race, ethnic origin, na- tionality and religion. But it also obliges member states to ensure that their legal systems take racist motivation into account in the case of all other crimes – for example homicide, bodily harm but also wilful dam- age to private or public property." In this case, the damage to the Quran can be read as wilful damage of public prop- erty with a racist or xenophobic motivation given the means used and other circum- stances of the case. PAGE 3 A European policy expert said damage to copies of the Quran at Mater Dei Hospital could be penalised as a racist hate crime under Maltese law TURTLE NESTS AT GOLDEN BAY Nature Trust members cordoned off part of Golden Bay's beach after a loggerhead turtle made its way up the beach and laid its eggs early on Tuesday morning • PAGE 7 PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRIS MANGION

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