The Malta Independent 20 June 2019, Thursday

Law prohibits Commissioner for Standards in Public Life from looking into Delia situation

Kevin Schembri Orland Tuesday, 26 March 2019, 08:40 Last update: about 4 months ago

The Commissioner for Standards in Public Life George Hyzler is precluded from looking into the case of Opposition Leader Adrian Delia, due to the law only allowing him to investigate situations which occurred after the implementation of the relatively new law.

Back in 2017, the FIAU were tipped off that Delia had, at one point, owned a bank account which could have been associated with a prostitution racket in Soho, which was allegedly used to launder money.

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A recent Times of Malta report read that the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit had flagged that there was sufficient evidence to conclude that Adrian Delia and his Jersey bank account may have been used for money laundering, and quoted senior police officials as saying that the FIAU had recommended a criminal investigation. Delia has denied any wrongdoing, and has said that his involvement was limited to that of a legal advisor and representative for other people involved.

It went on to read however, that this was left on the backburner by police as the case was deemed as too difficult to crack. The case revolves around the account in Jersey which had belonged to Delia, being used back in 2001 – 2004, and funds received into it from areas in Soho and around London, and sent on from Delia’s account to others.

This newsroom asked George Hyzler whether he would be looking into the situation, given that the situation has again come to light and recent articles written about it, however Hyzler said that the law does not allow him to, given that the allegations surround a situation which occurred many years ago.

The Standards in Public Life Act, which came into force last October, reads: “Nothing in this Act shall permit the Commissioner to investigate an allegation on an act which occurred prior to the date on which  this Act comes into force.”

By entering this clause into the Act, Parliament effectively made it impossible for the Commissioner to look into any past issues involving any MPs.

In another turn, the police on Sunday carried out a search at the house of Diana Busuttil – the sister of former PN leader Simon Busuttil – in connection with the allegations of falsified signatures made by Opposition leader Adrian Delia.

Diana Busuttil is the former wife of Kris Bajada, the son of Eucharist Bajada, the owner of the offshore companies which owned London houses involved in a prostitution racket, linked to the allegations regarding funds and Delia’s account.

Last Saturday, the PN leader wrote to the police commissioner requesting an investigation after he said that documents he had seen in connection with the aforementioned FIAU report carried signatures that had been falsified.

Duty magistrate Aaron Bugeja was tasked with the investigation, which resulted in search warrants issued and a search taking place in the early hours of Sunday morning at the house of Diana Busuttil.

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