The Malta Independent 22 February 2024, Thursday
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Repubblika president attacks request for Pilatus case to be hear behind closed doors

Saturday, 18 March 2023, 06:12 Last update: about 11 months ago

Repubblika president Robert Aquilina has accused the State Advocate and Attorney General of working against the interests of justice following their request to have a court case related to the Pilatus Bank heard behind closed doors.

Speaking at the AGM of the NGO, where he was elected president for another two-year term, Robert Aquilina criticised the State Advocate for blocking Aquilna’s testimony from being heard in public, describing it as a “desperate attempt to silence us.”

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Aquilina was referring to a sitting in the civil case filed by Repubblika, in which the NGO is requesting judicial review of the State’s decision not to prosecute senior figures at Pilatus Bank.

“Yesterday I intended to exhibit evidence... That I received from my sources... evidence that shows that the Attorney General, with the complicity of the Police Commissioner, went out of her way to ensure that the Pilatus Bank criminals - those who made a mess of our country’s name around the world - get off scot free.

“However, in that sitting we found the State Advocate and the Attorney General making all possible legal somersaults to prevent my testimony from being heard in open court.”

He said the State Advocate and the Attorney General want his evidence to remain under wraps.

“They want to keep you in the dark about how Victoria Buttigieg and Angelo Gafa protected the Pilatus Bank criminals.”

Aquilina said that it had not been possible for him to give his testimony for this reason, adding that the court is to hand down a decision on Tuesday.

“I am going to say it loud and clear: the State Advocate and the Attorney General are working against the interests of justice, against the interests of good governance and against accountability.”

“Out of respect for the court, I will not reveal what was said in the courtroom behind closed doors and what I saw happen in there with my own eyes. But I will make it clear: If anyone thinks they have a right to immunity from criticism, if respect and prudence are interpreted as weakness, if anyone here entertains the notion that we will falter in the face of distortion and manipulation of the facts, they are greatly mistaken.”

“We are willing to pay, even with our freedom, so that the truth comes out and comes out in full and so that we show the people how they have been betrayed by those who were supposed to be protecting them.”

Aquilina said public officials have a duty to serve citizens of Malta, “and not those who tricked them and sullied their name across the world.”

“To the State Advocate and the Attorney General I say that they have a clear choice before them, a choice between right and wrong, a choice between concealment and transparency. A choice between derailing the justice process or serving justice and serving it well."

“I tell them that the one option they don’t have is to shut us up.”

 

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