The Malta Independent 14 December 2018, Friday

Rule of law report: Police Commissioner says FIAU reports never investigated

Neil Camilleri Saturday, 13 January 2018, 09:25 Last update: about 12 months ago

Police chief Lawrence Cutajar, who was accompanied by Deputy Police Commissioner Silvio Valletta when he met MEPs compiling a report on the rule of law in Malta, confirmed that the police had been sent FIAU reports in April, July and November 2016.

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Cutajar confirmed that these reports had been registered but no investigation was started.

Questions were raised as to why OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri was not investigated, seeing that the police commissioner is directly appointed by the Prime Minister.

Cutajar replied that FIAU compliance reports never reached formally the Malta Police and that those reports that have fallen into the public domain were never formally reported to the Police.

The police chief gave an inconclusive answer when asked why the leaked reports were not investigated.

Cutajar, however, underlined the limited competences of the Police to start investigations and argued that the leaked FIAU reports “were not backed by subsequent reports.”

The police were then asked why proceedings against Russian whistle-blower Maria Efimova, upon complaints from Pilatus Bank, moved so fast, while in the same time there is a very slow pace of investigations concerning senior Government officials named in Panama Papers and under suspicions sustained by the Maltese FIAU reports leaked to the public.

Cutajar was also asked why the police had never pressed charges against former EU Commissioner John Dalli, and whether there was any connection of his activities with the indictment of his daughters for heading a Ponzi scheme.  Cutajar said “the investigations against Dalli had occurred before he headed the Police and indicated that the investigation on the Ponzi scheme run by the daughters would soon lead to further charges against others.”

Silvio Valletta insisted there was no conflict of interest emanating from the fact that his wife is a government minister (the Caruana Galizia family has gone to the constitutional court over this fact), stressing the independence of his professional activities from those of his wife. 

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