The Malta Independent 30 September 2023, Saturday
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Repubblika wants to intervene in case filed by Muscat for the removal of inquiring magistrate

Tuesday, 6 June 2023, 11:05 Last update: about 5 months ago

NGO Repubblika has filed an urgent court application asking to intervene in the recent case filed by former Prime Minister joseph Muscat, who is requesting the removal of the magistrate leading the inquiry into the three hospitals' deal.

Repubblika said that it has a direct and substantial interest in the case.

On Monday Muscat has asked a court of constitutional jurisdiction to remove Magistrate Gabriella Vella from leading the inquiry, citing continuous leaks. Muscat has also asked for an interim measure to halt the magisterial inquiry into the hospitals concession until a decision on the magistrate's removal is taken. In his facebook post accompanied by a copy of the court application on Monday, Muscat said that: "The filing shows clearly that Magistrate Vella cannot continue leading this inquiry because of the continuous leaks, including from her investigators, because for more than a year she did not decree my numerous requests to testify, because she accepted a report against me without granting me the legal right to reply, and because she did not recuse herself on the basis of the public comments on the merits of the case by her close relatives."

In the application it filed on Tuesday, Repubblika said that it had been the one to request the opening of the inquiry in connection with the hospital concessions, which Magisterial Inquiry is being led by Magistrate Gabriella Vella, in 2019."

Repubblika's application, which was signed by Lawyer Jason Azzopardi, also made reference to a point raised by Muscat's application for the magistrate's removal. Muscat's application had read, in relation to the search of his home in 2022, that Repubblika exponents "both before this search, and also during it, had indicated that they knew about the decree and as such wrote on Facebook and waited outside his residence in Burmarrad the day of the search."

Repubblika "absolutely denied" this, also saying that it could counter it only if it is allowed to intervene in this constitutional case, again stressing its interest in the case.



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