The Government has responded to the latest statement from Marlene Hassan Nahon of Together Gibraltar.
Firstly, the Government notes the statement from Ms Hassan Nahon complaining about articles in The New People, a registered newspaper. The Government does not intend to get drawn into Ms Hassan Nahon’s arguments with that newspaper in its reporting of her own words in an interview she gave in 2017 referring to arms deals and to the consequent exchange of press releases between her and the Government in the past week. The public will, however, note that Ms Hassan Nahon’s instinct is obviously to seek to de-legitimise and silence journalism which is critical of her. Ms Hassan Nahon has become a politician who thinks she can call out all her opponents fairly or unfairly as she wishes but not be called out herself by anyone. Additionally, the Government can categorically confirm that it provides no ‘hand outs’ to the New People or any other newspaper in Gibraltar. Any sums paid by the Government to registered newspapers relates to adverts which are published pursuant to legal requirements or for public information.
Secondly, the Government further notes that Ms Hassan Nahon has said once again, on 10th March, that the Government ‘continues to divert from the core issue, which is that no list has been published detailing what companies, individuals or assets have been directly affected by Gibraltarian sanctions’. In fact, the public will be surprised that Ms Hassan Nahon has still not found the published lists of sanctions which are applicable in Gibraltar. As has been repeatedly stated, Gibraltar automatically applies the UK and EU sanctions as a result of a law passed with Ms Hassan Nahon in Parliament, something she should therefore be aware of given that she voted for it! The relevant lists of sanctioned individuals are constantly updated and are public and have been published since 1st March; that is to say, three full days before Ms Hassan Nahon unnecessarily called for their publication. The publication can actually be found on the website of the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission, where it was posted on the 1st March at the following link: https://www.fsc.gi/news/sanctions-against-the-russian-federation-430
Indeed, it should be further noted that, despite Ms Hassan Nahon apparently not finding the published lists, the Gibraltar publication of the sanctions regime has even been included in international publications referring to the Gibraltar sanctions regime, in particular a House of Commons Library publication which has been circulating since the 4th March (the date on which Ms Hassan Nahon first called for the publication of the already published list). That House of Commons Library publication can be found at this link:
Thirdly, the Government further notes Ms Hassan Nahon’s statement that MPs have not engaged in any credible exercise of transparency about their links with ‘Putin’s Oligarchs’. In this respect the Government can only assume that is a criticism by Ms Hassan Nahon of the GSD, given that it was the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Azopardi, who described the call made by Ms Hassan Nahon herself, to disclose any links MPs may have with Vladimir Putin’s regime, as “bizarre”. For its part, the Government repeats the statement it made on the 4th of March in which the Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo QC MP, stated explicitly stated that he was ‘very happy to say that neither I nor any other GSLP/ Liberal Minister or Member of Parliament have had or have any relationship, at any level, professionally or otherwise, or done any business ‘with citizens implicated in Putin’s Oligarchy’.