The Malta Independent 22 September 2019, Sunday

Watch: Minister Konrad Mizzi decides not to appeal Panama Papers inquiry decision

Kevin Schembri Orland Thursday, 9 May 2019, 09:53 Last update: about 6 months ago

Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi has decided not to appeal the court decision regarding an inquiry related to the Panama Papers.

NGO Repubblika had filed a court application requesting an inquiry into the revelations stemming from the Panama Papers leak, which occurred three years ago. The NGO had filed a court application requesting an inquiry into Konrad Mizzi, OPM Chief of Staff Keith Schembri, and others. The NGO had said that in its application it had listed a series of legal provisions it was alleging to have been breached by Schembri and Mizzi, which the NGO said was done “in order to hide or to try to hide proceeds from crime and corruption”. Former Opposition Leader and PN MP Simon Busuttil filed a similar request.

In April, Magistrate Doreen Clarke decided that while declaring that the requisites for an in genere inquiry were met, since another inquiry dealing with similar allegations is taking place – referring to that by Magistrate Charmaine Galea -  Clarke ordered that the evidence presented be passed on to Galea, to form part of the already ongoing inquiry.

Mizzi, asked whether he would be appealing the decision, said that he decided not to appeal as the judgement, “after careful review, essentially supports our argument in the previous judgements as well. Meaning that all that happened was that the magistrate referred the complaint to another inquiry.”

Busuttil had said, on the day of the decision, that the Magistrate “accepted our request to order an inquiry into the corruption involving Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri. This is one small step for justice. but one giant leap for Malta.”

The government had in response, on the day the judgement was issued, said that in her ruling the magistrate said that there should be no new inquiry as was requested, but that Magistrate Charmaine Galea, who is already conducting an investigation, should consider what Busuttil is arguing as part her inquiry.  Magistrate Clarke, the government said, described Busuttil's move as an overlap of an investigation that Magistrate Galea started on 28 September.

Video: Eva Krins

  • don't miss