Author: Matthew Xuereb

Business leaders have recommended increasing compulsory education by two years to 18 to address the alarmingly high number of early school leavers. They also suggested an overhaul in the education system to improve standards for both students and teachers.  Human capital, both in terms of volume and skills is the main stumbling block being faced by businesses in Malta. In its national workforce strategy launched on Wednesday, the Malta Chamber made a number of recommendations to nurture, attract, retain and upskill talent so as to boost productivity and increase the added value provided by the workforce.  The document identifies four…

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Judges and magistrates will not be able to fulfil their role in upholding the rule of law if they continue to be hampered by lack of resources and supporting staff. The dire warning is sounded by the Association of Judges and Magistrates Francesco Depasquale The situation surrounding court personnel is precarious, he writes in response to a series of questions sent to him by Times of Malta about the lack of resources in court. If no urgent and immediate action is taken, he warns, the situation is bound to deteriorate further, leading to the eventual collapse of the essential institution…

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Four men have denied their involvement in a massive raid of cannabis grass found hidden in tins supposedly containing olives. The accused are: Thomas James Everett, 42, from London in the UK but living at Portomaso and works in the gaming sector; Self-employed Wayne Attard, 26, from Pembroke; Truck driver Stefan Vassallo, 30, from San Ġwann; and Christopher Julian Cordina, 25, from Ħamrun.  They pleaded not guilty to the importation of cannabis grass and conspiring to deal in drugs. They were also charged with possession of cocaine and psychotropic drugs MDMA and methamphetamine.  Thomas James Everett as he was entering…

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A man who committed two hold-ups at separate outlets of The Convenience Shop last year has been jailed for four years after opting to plead guilty to the charges brought against him. Clint Zammit, 32, admitted to committing the hold-ups at the outlets in Sliema and Gżira, stealing cash and holding the employees against their will while threatening them with a knife. The first armed robbery took place on January 19 at The Convenience Shop in Nazju Ellul Street, Gżira while the second robbery took place the following morning at The Convenience Shop in Mrabat Street, Sliema, where he held…

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Murder suspect Yorgen Fenech was denied bail once more on Thursday, with Justice Giovanni Grixti turning down his application following submissions in court yesterday.  Fenech stands accused of killing journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, in a case which the court noted had prompted “vast, complex and intricate” investigations which were still ongoing. Among the reasons for denying bail, the judge cited the gravity of the crimes Fenech is facing and the “clear danger” of him absconding. Fenech’s lawyers argued that their client satisfied all criteria to be allowed out on bail, which they noted was the rule and not the exception.…

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A motorist has been handed a suspended jail term after admitting to seriously injuring another motorist during a scuffle that broke out following a traffic accident in Valletta in 2019. The incident had happened on July 15 when Andrea Soriani, from Milan, and Arthur Giordano got into a fight in St Paul’s Street. During the incident, Giordano suffered grievous injuries to his face. Magistrate Monica Vella heard how Soriani claimed that Giordano had hit him while trying to overtake his vehicle which at the time was blocking the road. But the court found that there was no evidence of this…

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Clients of notary Ivan Barbara who died suddenly of COVID-19 while on a trip to India have filed an application in court demanding a magisterial inquiry into the notary’s actions and those of his wife.   The request was made by Matthew Sacco, Simon Mallia and Valerie Mallia, who had handed Barbara cheques amounting to a total €30,650 in relation to promise-of-sale agreements they had signed. They want a magisterial inquiry to be appointed to investigate whether their funds were misappropriated or fraudulently used.   Simon Mallia explained that he entered into a promise of sale agreement with third parties…

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AFM

Almost half the members of the Armed Forces of Malta are still awaiting redress about injustices they claim to have suffered over the years despite the conclusion of a grievance procedure more than three years ago, Times of Malta has learnt. Sources said some 700 officers and other ranks had been interviewed by the Board of Injustices set up by the government in 2017 and chaired by Col. Alexander Dalli, now the prisons director.  Before he was appointed to head Corradino Correctional Facility in June 2018, Dalli had concluded the process and submitted his report to the relevant authorities. However,…

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A former prisoner who went public with claims of mistreatment at Corradino Correctional Facility has shrugged off a union’s attempt to discredit him, saying his words had clearly irritated them.  “It’s obvious that the interview pissed them off,” Anthony Borg told Times of Malta. “The truth hurts.”  Borg was reacting to the General Workers Union, which on Monday released an audio clip of Borg swearing and shouting inside prison.  In the clip, Borg can be heard angrily daring another person to “open up” the door so that they can fight.  Recording of 2019 incident Borg confirmed to Times of Malta…

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A magistrate on Monday sentenced a 16-year-old girl to a suspended jail term after she was found to have used a stolen passport to come to Malta after fleeing her home country to escape religious persecution. The decision came after an Appeals Court earlier this month quashed an effective prison sentence handed down to two Turkish mothers who were separated from their young sons and jailed for using forged passports. Magistrate Josette Demicoli told the teenager that although the crime carried a prison sentence, she was handing down a suspended jail term after taking into consideration her age as well…

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