The Malta Independent 10 December 2019, Tuesday

Watch - Egrant inquiry not concluded: Magistrate summons 'Illum' editor to explain spin story

Thursday, 18 May 2017, 10:52 Last update: about 4 years ago

The inquiry being carried out by Magistrate Aaron Bugeja (above) on allegations made about the ownership of the Egrant company opened in Panama is not concluded, contrary to a story published in ‘Illum’ today.

Magistrate Bugeja is this morning continuing to hear testimonies to help him in his inquiry, as could be seen from the list of magistrates’ duties at the Law courts.

The editor of Illum, Albert Gauci Cunningham, this morning was summoned to court by Magistrate Bugeja to explain the story. Intercepted outside the law courts by a crew from Net TV (see video below), the editor seemed visibly uncomfortable with the questions that were being asked. He kept repeating that the magistrate wanted to know more about the story, but was not willing to say more.

Illum editor on Egrant story from The Malta Independent on Vimeo.


The ‘Illum’ story said that the Egrant inquiry was concluded and “it is not known why the report has not been passed on to the Attorney General”.

But the inquiry is still ongoing, and is likely to last until after the election.

The publication of the ‘Illum’ story, which says that the magistrate reached “a clear conclusion”, strongly points to an attempt to spin the situation in its favour, just over two weeks before the election.  

The Egrant inquiry was launched by the Prime Minister – four hours after he had said there was no need for one – after allegations surfaced that his wife is the ultimate beneficiary owner of a company opened in Panama.

The Egrant company was opened just after the 2013 election with two others belonging to No Portfolio Minister Konrad Mizzi and OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri.

The 'Illum' story was published hours after Opposition Leader Simon Busuttil held a press conference to reveal fresh documents involving payments made by OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri to former Allied Group managing director Adrian Hillman.

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