The Malta Independent 8 December 2019, Sunday

Watch: No details on ‘when’ the Egrant inquiry report will be published

Jeremy Micallef Wednesday, 15 May 2019, 08:36 Last update: about 8 months ago

Minister for Justice Owen Bonnici yesterday declined to say when the Egrant Inquiry Report will be published, after a court judgement rejected Opposition Leader’s request for the publication of the full report.

Yesterday morning, the First Hall of the Civil Court denied a request by Opposition leader Adrian Delia to be granted access to the full copy of the Egrant inquiry report, after which he said that he will appeal the judgment.

Due to the judgement being appealed, Bonnici maintained that he would respect the court procedure and not comment further on the issue.

Delia had filed the case after the conclusions from Magistrate Aaron Bugeja's inquiry on the ownership of the secret Panamanian company Egrant were published in July last year.

The inquiry did not find evidence that the company Egrant, one of three to be opened in Panama soon after the 2013 election, belonged to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat or his wife, as had been alleged by Daphne Caruana Galizia.

When pressed further on the fact that there has already been a wish for the report to be published without Delia asking for it to be published, and how long it would be until it is so, the Justice Minister pointed towards Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s “strong and unequivocal” comments made as recently as last Sunday and did not comment further.

Muscat said last Sunday that, with regards to the publishing of the report, “the question is not if we publish it, but when”.

Bonnici did comment on a tweet by Dr Busuttil this morning, rather than commenting on this “technicality which the court will delve into”.

Former leader of the Nationalist Party Simon Busuttil tweeted that Joseph Muscat should stop “playing his Egrant victim card”.

“It’s not like owning a Panama company is wrong for him. If it was, he’d have long fired his closest cabinet members and left with them. Just publish the report and let the people decide.”

Bonnici remarked that it was “very rich” coming from Busuttil, particularly “after being engulfed in the biggest lie in our political history.”

“The least he could do is offer an apology to those involved, but now he is telling them to stop playing the victim.”

He added that the comment was “very insensitive”, “unacceptable”, and “should be censured”.

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