It seems that the Office of the Prime Minister made widespread use of private email servers while in their official roles, with the former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, his chief of staff Keith Schembri, and personal assistant Ray Barbara all using their @josephmuscat.com emails.
According to a Malta Today report, Corinne Vella, the sister of assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, submitted email exchanges to the public inquiry investigating her sister’s murder which show the three using the emails, which are not tracked and are out of reach of the National Audit Office. Using them is considered highly unethical when occupying public office.
In one instance, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, which belong to Muscat and Schembri respectively, were even allegedly used to plot “SLAPP lawsuits against Caruana Galizia.
Caruana Galizia published the email exchange between Muscat, Schembri, Education Minister Owen Bonnici, the CEO of Malta’s sale of citizenship scheme Jonathan Cardona – and the group chairman of Henley & Partners Christian Kalin.
Meanwhile, documents were submitted showing Barbara using the email to confirm a meeting with civil society group OccupyJustice.
Both Muscat and Schembri were made to resign after the former was linked to the murder of Caruana Galizia. Barbara, a person of trust, has stayed on, now serving as the personal assistant to Prime Minister Robert Abela.
Muscat has continued to use his personal email email@example.com throughout his tenure although authorities telling him not to do so has long raised eyebrows.
Using his personal email has not only allowed Muscat to communicate undetected but also granted him access to certain details, some of which could be confidential, beyond his resignation.
Lovin Malta recently revealed that Muscat has continued using the email beyond his resignation, sending out a mailshot to any prominent international businessmen linked to Malta.
Sources have questioned how Muscat was able to gain access to the details of certain individuals, some of whom have never even spoken to the former Prime Minister or shared their details with him and whose contact details would not be otherwise readily available.