Maltese-based international broadcaster Voice of the Mediterranean (VOM) closed down its Internet broadcasts yesterday amid allegations of wrongdoing at the station, which have been denied by its management. The shortwave transmissions are continuing for now, but are expected to close by the end of December. The station was supposedly jointly financed by the Maltese and Libyan governments, but according to Maltese government sources the Libyans have not made any payments since 1998. Despite that, the station moved into new purpose-built accommodation earlier this year. It also launched its fourth Web site in a relatively short space of time. The contract to run the Web site was awarded to a Maltese Internet company that employs the son of VOM station manager Richard Muscat. Government officials say the station’s books have been audited, and nothing untoward has been found.
According to the Maltese government, Libya has now informed it that it no longer wishes to finance the station, so the government decided to close it down. The opposition believe that such a decision should not have been taken unliaterally by the government without a debate in parliament. The Labour PartyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s spokesperson for foreign affairs and IT, Leo Brincat, has called for an independent enquiry into circumstances surrounding the station, which has cost the taxpayer 1.5 million Maltese pounds over the past three years.