The Malta Independent 23 June 2024, Sunday
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PN accuses AG, Police chief, State Advocate of shirking duties by not taking action on Steward deal

Albert Galea Friday, 10 November 2023, 14:18 Last update: about 9 months ago

The Nationalist Party is accusing the Attorney General, Police Commissioner and State Advocate of abdicating from their constitutional duties and their oath of office after they all failed to take action against “those in the government who acted in a fraudulent, abusive, and illegal manner.”

The PN said in a statement that the party will not allow the Police Commissioner, Attorney General, and State Advocate to be the puppets of Robert Abela and Joseph Muscat and had presented a reply to a counter-protest filed on Thursday.

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In counter-protests replying to the judicial protest filed by the Nationalist Party last week, the AG, State Advocate and police chief said they were not empowered in terms of the functions of their respective offices to do what the PN had requested.

In their reply in court, Grech and Delia say that the State Advocate has “not understood his role” as laid out by Malta’s Constitution and the law which governs his office wherein the State’s defence is meant to be independent of being the government’s consultant.

They referred to Article 91A of the Constitution which outlines that the State Advocate should “act as per his own individual judgement and should not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.”

Grech and Delia argued that acting against the government’s highest officials  to hold them personally responsible for acting in a manner not in the interest of the state, as highlighted in the Appeals Court judgment, is an “essential function” of the State Advocate, and that he therefore cannot argue that he cannot act because he has no authority over the government and he would be “abdicating from his responsibilities and going against his oath of office as it means he is under the heel of those in the government who acted in a fraudulent, abusive, and illegal manner.”

They said that their request is effectively for the State Advocate to exercise his powers against the government officials found to have acted fraudulently in collusion with Vitals Global Healthcare and Steward Health Care “with corruption in the interest of foreigners rather than the Maltese and Gozitan people.”

Grech and Delia said that the Attorney General and Police Commissioner had understood that the State Advocate’s function is to recover civil damages from the people indicated in the first judicial protest, but had “conveniently seemingly failed to understand that criminal action against these same people is vested exclusively and uniquely in them.”

They continued that that role of investigating and prosecuting criminal behaviour is in the hands of the Police Commissioner and Attorney General and nobody else.

“One cannot understand how the State Advocate abdicates from his constitutional responsibility to act civilly to recover the money wrongly paid out, as one also cannot understand how the Police Commissioner and Attorney General have also abdicated from their responsibilities which are independent of any magisterial inquiry which may be being carried out in the country,” the replyreads.

Any other procedure referred to by the State Advocate will not get the country’s “stolen money” back as they can only be brought back when those responsible for the fraud are found personally responsible for the payment and recovery of the same money which the Maltese and Gozitan people were defrauded out of, they said.

They continued that the abdication of responsibility by all three role-holders was a failure to do their legal duty of protecting the country’s rule of law and follow their oath of office.

“If they keep persisting in this abusive and illegal behaviour, then it will be argued that the State Advocate, Police Commissioner and Attorney General will be held personally responsible because their defence that they are obeying their government superiors is against the national interest and against all that they are obliged to safeguard in the supreme interest of the Maltese and Gozitan people,” the reply ends.

The reply to the counter-protest was signed by Edward DeBono and Adriana Buhagiar.

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