After raising €15,000 in a public fundraiser, former Pilatus Bank employee Maria Efimova has refused to publish proof that she spent the money on a forensic examination of Egrant-related documents.
“I’ve spoken to [the forensic analysts] and they told me there will be no revelations until I am granted whistleblower status from Malta or from the EU,” Efimova told Lovin Malta.
She didn’t state which forensic analysts she hired.
Efimova rose to prominence in 2017 when she sensationally told now-assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia that the Panama company Egrant belongs to Michelle Muscat, wife of then Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.
A magisterial inquiry later found no evidence that Egrant ever belonged to the Muscats or that it received any payments whatsoever, but didn’t establish who the company was purchased for.
The inquiry also found evidence of forged signatures on alleged copies of declarations of trust that were presented by Pierre Portelli, who was back then editor-in-chief of The Malta Independent.
Last year, Efimova said she has documental evidence related to her Egrant allegations but that she needs to hire an “independent forensic document examiner” to verify it. Within a matter of days, she had raised €15,000 through a crowd-funder.
In November, she told Lovin Malta that she spent €13,000 of the money she raised on commissioning a forensic analysis, which she said included costs for an expert to travel to Panama so as to verify certain information.
As for the remaining €2,000, she said she has left them in reserve in case she needs funds for a future whistleblower status acquisition process.
Efimova said she has invoices in her possession to prove what she’s saying but that she needs to obtain permission from the forensic analysts before publishing it. However, now it seems as though she won’t publish it unless Malta grants her whistleblower status, which would give her immunity from prosecution.
Police have issued a European Arrest Warrant against Efimova after charging her with perjury over her testimony to the Egrant magisterial inquiry.
What do you make of Maria Efimova’s explanation?