The smallest nation in the European Union is earning an unsavoury reputation. Ana Maria Gomes, the leader of an EU parliamentary inquiry into this tiny Mediterranean country, blames the situation on Malta’s politics, which she says are “rotten.” Jon Wertheim reports from the Mediterranean country for the next edition of 60 MINUTES Sunday Dec. 23 (7:30-8:30 PM, ET/7:00-8:00 PM, PT) on the CBS Television Network.
“Such a great people, such a proud history,” says Gomes, a Portuguese member of the European Parliament. “But I must say that, at the moment, indeed, the political atmosphere is rotten.”
She and others in the EU are sounding the alarm about a series of scandals involving allegations of bribery, cronyism and money laundering among top Maltese officials. Gomes believes the current government is encouraging an atmosphere of impunity.
“The system is basically flawed, because the Prime Minister ultimately controls the attorney general, who also controls the police,” Gomes tells Wertheim. “Nobody's being tried. And of course, the sense of impunity is being fuelled by this fact. And it affects us all.”
Gomes is also concerned about the state of an investigation into the high-profile assassination of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who chronicled organized crime and government corruption in the country’s major newspapers and then on her blog, “Running Commentary.” “Daphne,” as she came to be known, earned a devoted following for her writing, as well as libel suits, vilification by government officials, and years of death threats. On the afternoon of October 16th, 2017, she got in her car and set off for the bank, when a powerful car bomb placed under her seat was went off.
Her son, Matthew, says that such a violent and public assassination was meant as a warning both to his family, and to all those who would follow in her footsteps. “Obviously it was a way of killing my mother. A way of sending a message to us. To our family,” he says. “And a way of sending a message to anyone else who was thinking of doing anything about the really grand corruption in this country.”
Daphne’s death seems to have had the opposite effect, bringing international attention on the tiny country, and the problems she spent her career working to expose. There have been multiple recent inquiries by a variety of European authorities raising serious questions about corruption, money laundering and the rule of law inside Malta.
What would justice look like to Matthew? “When all the corrupt people that she was reporting on, treating our country as a gigantic trough which they're feeding from for years,” he tells Wertheim. “When they've paid the price for that, then there will be justice for my mother's stories. But there also has to be justice for her murder, too.”
TO CATCH A SPY – Justice Department officials and the FBI tell Anderson Cooper how they caught a former CIA officer spying for the Chinese. Top national security and counterintelligence officials say Chinese espionage is increasing and poses a greater threat than Russian espionage against the U.S. Katherine Davis is the producer.
MALTA – European Union officials are sounding the alarm about a series of scandals involving allegations of bribery, cronyism and money laundering among top Maltese officials. Jon Wertheim reports from the island nation of Malta. Michael Gavshon, David M. Levine and Aarthi Rajaraman are the producers.
THE WOLVES OF YELLOWSTONE – The once familiar howl of the wolf in the American West has returned to Yellowstone Park and its environs thanks to a careful re-introduction of the animal by the U.S. Park Service. But as Bill Whitaker reports, the number of wolves venturing into the states surrounding Yellowstone Park has some ranchers and hunters worried. Rome Hartman and Sara Kuzmarov are the producers.
Video Catches Mallory Preparing Classified Material for Transmission to China
A Rare Look at China’s Methods of Recruiting Americans and How U.S. Catches Them
Top National Security and Counterintelligence Officials Say Chinese Espionage Is Increasing and Poses a Greater Threat than Russian Espionage against the U.S.
U.S. national security and counterintelligence officials who investigated and convicted American spy Kevin Mallory tell Anderson Cooper how they caught the former CIA officer in the act of betraying his country for money. John Demers, who leads the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, and Bill Evanina, the top counterintelligence official in the U.S. government, say China’s spying efforts against the U.S. are vast in scope and scale. FBI Supervisory Special Agent Ryan Gaynor and prosecutor Jennifer Gellie, of the Department of Justice, speak about the Mallory case for the first time outside of court and show Cooper how Mallory was caught on tape and then lied about it to the CIA and FBI. Cooper’s report will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES, Sunday, Dec. 23 (7:30-8:30 PM, ET/7:00-8:00 PM, PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Mallory, a down-on-his luck former CIA officer who once had a top-secret security clearance, is captured in the act on a FedEx store security camera, handing classified material to a clerk for scanning onto an SD card – the kind that can be inserted into a mobile phone. “So this is that rare moment in an…espionage case where we actually have video footage of the individual preparing the classified material for transmission to the foreign intelligence service,” says Gaynor.
Gaynor and Gellie say Mallory sent national security secrets, including material that could have revealed the identity of a couple who had secretly spied on China for the U.S. to a Chinese spy on a covert communication device. Mallory had been the couple’s handler years before and knew they were planning to travel to China. “These were documents that specifically talked about human beings whose lives could be in danger,” says Gellie.
Mallory hadn’t worked for any U.S. intelligence agency in five years when he was approached by a Chinese headhunter on LinkedIn. His profile listed expertise in national security, counterterrorism and military and said that he had once had security clearance. “He had the type of background the Chinese intelligence services are most interested in…and it led to what you would think,” Ryan tells Cooper.
Prosecutors say the Chinese headhunter passed Mallory on to Michael Yang, who said he was a think-tank employee, but the FBI believes he is a Chinese intelligence officer. Yang paid Mallory $25,000 to travel to China twice to meet with him. Says Ryan: “We believe him to be a Chinese intelligence officer, and more importantly, Mr. Mallory when meeting with him believed him to be an intelligence officer.”
Prosecutors say Mallory drew suspicion when he asked former CIA colleagues to put him in touch with people who had current intelligence on China. That behavior put him on CIA security’s radar. He also used direct, incriminating language in his communications with the Chinese intelligence officer, referring to his pay and the risks he was taking.
Mallory was convicted in June and is awaiting sentencing. Demers says Mallory is just one of several cases they are prosecuting against former U.S. intelligence officers who are accused of spying for China. And China is not just looking for national security secrets. China’s pursuit of American economic and industrial secrets has become America’s biggest espionage threat. Evanina is the top counterintelligence official in the U.S. government and tells Cooper: “When it comes to espionage against the United States, China is the greatest threat, and it’s not even close compared to Russia or Iran.”