The Malta Independent 13 June 2024, Thursday
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Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi want immediate full disclosure of evidence against them

Tuesday, 21 May 2024, 13:50 Last update: about 23 days ago

Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi on Tuesday demanded that the Attorney General and Police Commissioner give them full disclosure of the evidence which there is against them immediately, alleging that the two institutions have breached their rights as suspects.

Schembri, formerly Joseph Muscat’s chief of staff, and Mizzi, a government minister in the Muscat administration, filed two separate judicial protests on Tuesday, a week to the day before they are set to face court for the first time in connection with the hospitals case.

They, together with Muscat, stand charged with money laundering, bribery, and trading in influence amongst a raft of other charges.

Both of them said that while the nature of the charges against them demand a mandatory explanation from the suspect, nobody had ever spoken to them before the charges were filed and neither were they given “effective disclosure” by the prosecution.

This created an even greater prejudice against them, they argued.

The duo noted that while the prosecution had given them the inquiry report, they refused to hand over the appendices which the report referred to.  The Attorney General in her reply said that the magistrate was very clear in what was to be made available, and her office had handed over the proces verbal of the inquiry and was not obliged to hand over anything else.

Schembri and Mizzi’s lawyers however insisted that the documentation should have been handed over to them as soon as they were considered as suspects, citing Article 543AF of the Criminal Code to back this claim up.

They said that the right to disclosure was part and parcel of their fundamental right to a fair trial as safeguarded within the terms of the European Convention on Human Rights, and warned that they would institute constitutional proceedings should the disclosure not be granted as soon as possible.

They both also described a request by the NGO Repubblika to be admitted into the case as an injured party as “nothing but a legal manoeuvre” to intervene in court proceedings where it had no right to be.

“The only thing to say at this stage is that their allegations were more akin to a book of Aesop’s fables than a serious judicial protest,” they said of Repubblika’s request and claims.

They called on the NGO to cease and desist from any further “odious, frivolous and vexatious” actions and said that their allegations were factually and legally “totally unfounded.”

The judicial protests were all signed by lawyers Edward Gatt, Mark Vassallo, and Shaun Zammit.

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