An MP’s claims in Parliament have spurred calls for an inquiry into the breach of professional secrecy at the Attorney General’s office.
PN MP Jason Azzopardi claimed in Parliament on Tuesday that state prosecutor turned criminal lawyer Charles Mercieca went behind the backs of his superiors at the Attorney General’s office to allow a government official found guilty of money laundering and fraud to avoid prison time. Mercieca yesterday gave his version of events and downplayed Azzopardi’s allegations.
Now, Government Whip Glenn Bedingfield is calling for an inquiry into how Azzopardi acquired his information. Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Bedingfield suggested that Azzopardi could have only got his information from one source, the Attorney General’s office, adding that this constituted a breach of secrecy.
Mercieca’s superiors are AG Peter Grech, who is regularly under fire by Azzopardi, and deputy AG Philip Galea Farrugia, who was appointed last January by then Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, a few days before he stepped down.
Bedingfield also backed the sentence given in the case which Azzopardi was flagging.
Mercieca, a recent graduate and son of former Labour MP Franco Mercieca, generated controversy after resigning from his position in the Office of the Attorney General on 5th May, only to appear in court the next morning on behalf of Yorgen Fenech. Fenech is the Tumas Group businessman charged with conspiring to assassinate journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia
While saying that he did not agree with Mercieca’s decision, Bedingfield also said that this was not the first time that a lawyer has left the AG’s office to work with a private firm.
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