The inquiry into the Panamanian company Egrant called for the police to investigate Nexia BT’s Karl Cini, former Pilatus Bank employee Maria Efimova and former FIAU investigator Jonathan Ferris for perjury, the court heard this afternoon.
The revelation was made in court today as the police charged former FIAU inspector Jonathan Ferris with perjury on the basis of the inquiry’s conclusions.
The inquiry was called in April 2017 after Daphne Caruana Galizia had claimed that Michelle Muscat, the wife of former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, was the ultimate beneficial owner of the company.
The inquiry took a year and a half to complete and could not prove any link between the Muscat’s and the company, though it did not uncover who the company belonged to.
It was recently revealed that foreign experts tasked with investigating the shuttered Pilatus Bank, had recommended further investigations into the secret company.
The court today heard from Police Inspector Matthew Vella who had investigated Ferris after the inquiry’s conclusions were passed on to the police.
Under cross-examination by Ferris’ lawyer Jason Azzopardi, Vella said that Ferris was one of a number of individuals who the inquiry concluded should be investigated for perjury.
Asked to name the other individuals, a reluctant Vella eventually said the inquiry concluded that Efimova and Cini should also be investigated.
Cini was responsible for liaising with Panamanian firm Mossack Fonesca to open Egrant, as well as offshore companies owned by former minister Konrad Mizzi and former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri.
He had written to the firm informing it that he would be providing it with details about the ultimate beneficial owner of Egrant over Skype. Efimova was Caruana Galizia’s source inside the bank.
Vella said that a statement had been taken from both Cini and Ferris, adding that the police were unable to speak to Efimova about the matter since she was not in Malta and a European Arrest Warrant for her return had been turned down by Cyprus.
The court has been asked by the Muscat’s to be admitted as parties in the case. A decision on this will be made by the magistrate at a later stage.
Police inspectors Wayne Borg and George Frendo are prosecuting, while lawyers Jason Azzopardi, Kris Busietta and Julian Farrugia appeared for Ferris.
The court is being presided over by Magistrate Maresanne Farrugia.
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