The Malta Independent 17 August 2022, Wednesday

Repubblika calls on AG to issue charges against Pilatus officials, warns further legal action

Tuesday, 5 July 2022, 10:52 Last update: about 2 months ago

NGO Repubblika has formally called on Attorney General Victoria Buttigieg to issue criminal charges against Pilatus Bank officials, saying that a magisterial inquiry had instructed her office to do so months ago, and that the AG should be held accountable.

Speaking at a press conference in front of the courts in Valletta on Tuesday, Repubblika president Robert Aquilina said that the NGO will be sending Buttigieg a judicial letter, signed by lawyer Jason Azzopardi, calling on her to take action.

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Aquilina said that Buttigieg is allowing impunity to take over, just like her predecessor, Peter Grech.

“We are convinced that the AG is making decisions in an unreasonable way and in bad faith,” he said. Aquilina added that the letter will serve as an alert to Buttigieg to the conclusions of a magisterial inquiry into the now-defunct Pilatus Bank which had called for criminal charges to be issued against several top officials months ago.  

Aquilina said that only one of its senior officials, Claude-Ann Sant Fournier, has been taken to court.

Among other failures addressed in the letter was the failure to issue international arrest warrants against the top officials of the bank.

Repubblika is also claiming that the Pilatus magisterial inquiry found that there may have been trading in influence between the bank's chairman Ali Sadr and former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri.

Aquilina said that the NGO is willing to take any step necessary, both in the Maltese courts and those abroad, to ensure an end to impunity.

The NGO has previously filed a judicial letter calling on the courts to order Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa to prosecute Pilatus Bank following the conclusion of a magisterial inquiry that found evidence of money laundering and criminal association.

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