The Malta Independent 26 May 2019, Sunday

Former FIAU director, former police chief refuse to comment on Panama Papers investigation

Kevin Schembri Orland Thursday, 4 August 2016, 10:06 Last update: about 4 years ago

Former Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIAU) Manfred Galdes as well as former Police Commissioner Michael Cassar have refused to comment on an FIAU investigation related to the Panama Papers.

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna had earlier this year said that the FIAU was investigating the Panama Leaks.

Both the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Keith Schembri, as well as Minister Konrad Mizzi, featured in the Panama Papers, having acquired companies in the secretive jurisdiction of Panama. Journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia said that back in April the FIAU had presented Mr Cassar with files and the results of the FIAU investigation into the activities of the Mr Schembri and Dr Mizzi.

Dr Galdes (above) said that he was prohibited by law from making any comments relating to the FIAU investigations, “As it is a criminal offence”. He also refused to comment on the reasons for his resignation, however did say that he submitted his resignation on July 13, and it was made effective the very next day. He proceeded to head back into his private practice as a lawyer.

Mr Cassar said he is not obliged to, and could not comment.

Government stressed that Mr Galdes did not provide reasoning behind his resignation, and that he never spoke of the allegation being levelled by the PN. It reiterated the claim that the Government did not in any way interfere with the FIAU or the investigation.

"The chairman of the FIAU is the Attorney General. If the Leader of the Opposition has any doubts about him, he should make them public immediately," the government had said.

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