Tourism minister Konrad Mizzi and the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri must be sacked and investigated after they were implicated in the Panama Papers scandal, a committee of MEPs has said.
Following the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, a special delegation of MEPs visited Malta late last year to investigate corruption and the state of the rule of law. The results, which were published late last night, were quite damning.
“People perceived to be implicated in serious acts of corruption and money laundering, as a result of Panama Papers revelations and FIAU reports, should not be kept in public office and must be swiftly and formally investigated and brought to justice,” the MEPs said, in a clear reference to Mizzi and Schembri. “Keeping them in office affects the credibility of the Government, fuels the perception of impunity and may result in further damage to State interests by enabling the continuation of criminal activity.”
Elsewhere, the MEPs called for an investigation into the alleged smuggling of Libyan petrol through Malta and into the alleged influence of elections through increased hirings in the public sector, issuance of construction permits and regularisations of illegal construction, as well as salary increases and promotions in the military.
On a more structural level, the MEPs said that the police commissioner should no longer be appointed by the Prime Minister but by an appropriate independent body, that the Attorney General’s roles of public prosecutor and government legal advisor should be split, and that the MFSA chairman should not also be the chair of FinanceMalta, tasked with promoting investment into Malta.