The Malta Independent 14 April 2021, Wednesday

Egrant libel case: Muscat lawyer wants Efimova to testify physically, not by video conference

Monday, 1 February 2021, 17:43 Last update: about 3 months ago

A lawyer representing former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat in a libel case has insisted that Pilatus Bank whistleblower Maria Efimova should physically come to Malta to testify in the next sitting.

Muscat testified on Monday in the libel case ha had instituted against former Net TV journalist Mario Frendo and station manager Karl Gouder. The case revolves around a new report based on a social media post uploaded by Matthew Caruana Galizia – the son of slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. The post and the news report were related to the claim that Egrant belonged to Muscat and his wife Michelle.

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The former PM told the court that the Egrant ‘lie’ was another character assassination attempt against him and his family. The claim, he said, was based on a document with forged signatures.

He pointed to the magisterial inquiry which had found no proof to substantiate the claims, adding that two persons are facing criminal charges for perjury. They are Efimova and former FIAU manager Jonathan Ferris.

Dal-għodu Dr Joseph Muscat xehed fil-Qorti f’kawżi ta’ libelli li fetaħ kontra Matthew Caruana Galizia dwar post fuq...

Posted by Joseph Muscat on Monday, February 1, 2021

Muscat again denied owning any offshore companies and receiving money from the daughter of Azeri President Ilham Aliyev. While Net News had claimed that there was proof of this, no such proof had ever been presented, Muscat said.

The PN’s lawyer, Joseph Zammit Maempel, said on Monday that Efimova would be testifying by video conference during the next court sitting. But Muscat’s lawyer, Pawlu Lia, said he wants Efimova to be present in the courtroom.

Efimova, who had fled Malta, is the subject of a European Arrest Warrant.

This is a not a case of the witness being unable to come to Malta to testify but about not wanting to, the lawyer said.

The court is expected to decide in the matter.

 

 

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