The Malta Independent 25 September 2018, Tuesday

Updated: Police say Ferris was never threatened with arrest, lawyers publish arrest warrant

Friday, 10 August 2018, 20:07 Last update: about 3 months ago

Former Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit and Economic Crimes Unit officer Jonathan Ferris was never threatened with arrest, the police said in a statement this evening.

In fact, the police pointed out, it was Ferris himself who suggested to investigators who summoned him for questioning that: "If it is so urgent, issue a warrant.  I cannot put it to you any other way."

But, soon after the police statement, Ferris' lawyers published the arrest warrant, saying that what the police had said was "malicious".

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The telephone conversations with Ferris, the police said, were all recorded as per standard practice. 

The Times on Tuesday reported that Ferris had been threatened with arrest, with the police denying the claim.

The police said investigators phoned Ferris on Tuesday and asked him to go to the police headquarters along with his lawyer.  Ferris, however, informed the police that his lawyer was to be abroad at the time given for the appointment.

After that, the police said Ferris had been given the opportunity to either find another lawyer or be given another appointment.

The conversation, the police said, was held through five telephone calls, four of which were made by Ferris himself to the police.

The police noted that according to the Criminal Code, they had the power to request an arrest mandate from a magistrate when there were enough reasons for this according to law, and such power should not be considered a threat when used according to law.

Reacting, Ferris’ lawyers, Jason Azzopardi and Kris Busietta, published a copy of the arrest warrant issued by the police.

The lawyers said the police press release was “malicious, untruthful & misleading.”

 “The statement is denying that Jonathan Ferris was threatened with arrest. The attached photo of the warrant of arrest requested by the Police & issued by the Duty Magistrate, proves otherwise. The Police have just now issued a pr supposedly denying what Jonathan Ferris said, when documented facts prove otherwise & show their deceit. The Police had actually requested & got the warrant of arrest 48hrs BEFORE Mr Ferris was called for questioning (proving that there was no urgency in the matter). The Police would do well not to continue issuing false statements to cover up for their hidden agenda,” Azzopardi wrote on Facebook.

On Thursday, Ferris was questioned for three hours on the testimony he gave to Magistrate Aaron Bugeja during the Egrant inquiry, which established that there was no evidence linking the Prime Minister and his wife to a company opened in Panama as alleged by slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.


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