PD expects that all information from the investigation is made public
Court suspends proceedings pending decision on breach of constitutional rights
Partit Demokratiku has welcomed the news that a delegation from the EU will be coming to Malta to investigate Panama Papers.
The government has fallen short on taking action against a high ranking public official and a minister within Cabinet whose names appeared in the Panama Papers. The government has also failed in taking concrete action when it comes to tax avoidance and tax evasion. This has resulted in shifting the whole scandal onto the government due to its inaction. Furthermore, the people deserve to know the outcome of the supposed investigation announced earlier on this year.
Partit Demokratiku therefore welcomed this news and looks forward to justice being made with the common people and honest workers paying their taxes whilst those in office who are meant to be leading by example failed to do so. A recent amendment that awards greater rights to persons placed under arrest has led to the suspension of criminal proceedings against a man in order for another court to decide whether his Constitutional rights have been breached.
Aldo Pistella, 38, from Agrigento, was denied a lawyer throughout the duration of police questioning after he was placed under arrest for alleged possession of marijuana in circumstances that point towards it not being for personal use.
While he was granted a lawyer prior to the questioning, a right that came into force on 28 November stipulates that persons have a right to legal aid while being investigated by the police.
Mr Pistella denied the charges brought against him. He was initially arraigned back in 2014.
The Drug Squad made the arrest following several weeks of surveillance. The court heard how the accused was unemployed at the time, and that he listed a penthouse in Marsascala as his place of residence.
Lawyer Arthur Azzopardi, representing the accused, argued that the European Convention on Human Rights provides that suspects should have access to lawyer consultations prior to taking their statement as well as while the statement is being taken down. Dr Azzopardi highlighted a number of EU court judgements, as well as EU directives, to back up his argument.
Magistrate Neville Camilleri, presiding over the case, noted that Mr Pistella had delivered his statement to the authorities on 17 October, 2014. The way in which his statement was taken was in line with Maltese law at the time, he highlighted.
Despite this, Magistrate Camilleri held that the request for a Constitutional reference was relevant and had merit, resulting in the issue being referred to the First Hall of the Civil Court in its Constitutional Jurisdiction.
Once that court pronounces itself on the issue, the case before the Court of Magistrates will continue.