Judge Mizzi ad­journs Panama Pa­pers case un­til af­ter day of re­tire­ment

Malta Independent - - News -

Judge An­to­nio Mizzi will no longer be hear­ing the Panama Pa­pers case af­ter he ad­journed the case to af­ter his re­tire­ment date.

For­mer Op­po­si­tion leader Si­mon Busuttil had ob­jected to the fact that the case was be­ing heard by a judge who is mar­ried to a Labour MEP.

A le­gal saga was sparked off last year when Busuttil called upon a mag­is­trates’ court to launch an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the rev­e­la­tions emerg­ing from the Panama Pa­pers in­volv­ing sev­eral high-pro­file Mal­tese fig­ures.

In a tense sit­ting yes­ter­day morn­ing, Judge An­to­nio Mizzi, pre­sid­ing over the Crim­i­nal Court, told as­sem­bled lawyers that he didn’t think that a case of this im­por­tance should be dealt with in the three days left be­fore his re­tire­ment.

“Fo­rum shop­ping is a big mis­take, be­cause you know where you start but not where you end,” said the judge, vis­i­bly an­noyed.

“Had we not amended laws in a piece­meal way, this would not have hap­pened.”

“I’m not here to take sides. I never took sides. I can’t be both­ered with po­lit­i­cal par­ties. I have al­ways done my duty with­out fear or favour. It hurt and an­gered me when shad­ows were cast upon me. But that’s enough.”

The case was put off un­til De­cem­ber.

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