Three for­mer judges ap­pointed to in­ves­ti­gate al­le­ga­tions in­volv­ing PN Deputy Leader

Malta Independent - - NEWS - ■ He­lena Grech

Joseph Camil­leri, Lawrence Quin­tano and Philip Sciber­ras are the three for­mer mem­bers of the ju­di­ciary that have been tasked with in­ves­ti­gat­ing se­ri­ous al­le­ga­tions against Na­tion­al­ist Party deputy leader Beppe Fenech Adami.

This was an­nounced via a press con­fer­ence ad­dressed by Jus­tice Min­is­ter Owen Bon­nici.

The al­le­ga­tions are that as Malta geared it­self for the 2013 gen­eral elec­tions, in Jan­uary of that year in­ves­ti­ga­tions were made by the lo­cal po­lice into a com­pany which was thought to be han­dling trans­ac­tions for a com­pany that could have been used by sus­pected drug traf­fick­ers. The com­pany, which Dr Fenech Adami was di­rec­tor of at the same time as be­ing Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary for Par­lia­men­tary Af­fairs, is a Mal­tese fidu­ciary com­pany.

At the out­set of the press con­fer­ence, Dr Bon­nici said that he does not wish to pass com­ments re­lated to par­ti­san pol­i­tics. He also said that the for­mer mem­bers of the ju­di­ciary cho­sen have the con­fi­dence and trust needed to carry out the task prop­erly. Judge Emer­i­tus Philip Sciber­ras is a for­mer Labour Party can­di­date.

The in­ves­tiga­tive com­mit­tee has un­til 15 Jan­uary to con­clude its work. Dr Bon­nici said the terms of ref­er­ence of the task at hand are to re­view the ar­ti­cle which an­nounced the news and in­ves­ti­gate the al­le­ga­tions lev­elled against the au­thor­i­ties.

The charges which need to be in­ves­ti­gated are as fol­lows: that the au­thor­i­ties did not co­op­er­ate with the Dutch au­thor­i­ties who were car­ry­ing out the broader in­ves­ti­ga­tion, that the au­thor­i­ties held back from an in­ves­ti­ga­tion which came to light through Dutch au­thor­i­ties, that a num­ber of com­pa­nies – some of which reg­is­tered in Malta – em­ployed sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­i­ties in con­nec­tion with trans­ac­tions that are against the law and lastly that pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions did not in­ves­ti­gate.

Dr Bon­nici said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion does not fo­cus on a po­lit­i­cally ex­posed per­son, but on the au­thor­i­ties and pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions that may have failed to carry out their du­ties.

Asked by jour­nal­ists why no such in­ves­tiga­tive com­mit­tee was launched when the Panama Pa­pers scan­dal broke, Dr Bon­nici sim­ply replied that he would not be com­ment­ing on any­thing re­lated to par­ti­san pol­i­tics.

When asked by The Malta In­de­pen­dent un­der what cri­te­ria an of­fi­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tion is launched, that is, what kind of al­le­ga­tions merit an of­fi­cial in­quiry, Dr Bon­nici said that se­ri­ous al­le­ga­tions merit the at­ten­tion of the gov­ern­ment. He also went on to re­mind jour­nal­ists that this gov­ern­ment has launched of­fi­cial in­quiries on se­ri­ous al­le­ga­tions re­lated to sit­ting min­is­ters, such as the case with the later re­in­stated Min­is­ter Manuel Mal­lia who was sacked fol­low­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Asked by jour­nal­ists why no such in­ves­tiga­tive com­mit­tee was launched when the Panama Pa­pers scan­dal broke, Dr Bon­nici sim­ply replied that he would not be com­ment­ing on any­thing re­lated to par­ti­san pol­i­tics

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.