Opposition Leader's Plan To Obtain Full Egrant Report Goes Up In Smoke As Court Shoots Down His Request
Courts hand huge blow to Opposition leader Adrian Delia
The constitutional court has turned down a request by Opposition leader Adrian Delia to be granted a full copy of the magisterial inquiry into the infamous Panama company Egrant.
Delia filed a judicial protest against the Attorney General last July, warning that Peter Grech had created a political unbalance by granting a full copy of the report to the Prime Minister, who had requested the inquiry, but not to the Opposition leader.
However, Judge Robert Mangion turned his request down in a judgement this morning. Delia confirmed he will appeal the ruling, arguing that people have a right to know what the full report states.
Court recognizes Opposition as public watchdog, the nature of info requested as of public importance & interest but deems #Egrant report doesn’t qualify automatically. We shall appeal to the constitutional court asking that full report be made public. People have a right to know— Adrian Delia (@adriandeliapn) May 14, 2019
In 2017, now-assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia claimed the Prime Minister’s wife Michelle Muscat owned the Panama company Egrant, prompting the Prime Minister to request a magisterial inquiry and call a general election, which he won by a landslide.
A year later, the magisterial inquiry found no evidence connecting Egrant to the Prime Minister and his wife and declared an alleged declaration of trust provided as having forged signatures. This document was handed to magistrate Aaron Bugeja by Pierre Portelli, back then the editor-in-chief of The Malta Independent and now head of media at the Nationalist Party. Only the conclusion of the report has been published, but the full report is in the hands of the police.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said he intends to publish the report but doesn’t want to risk jeopardising police investigations.
“The Attorney General has warned me that publishing the report now would give an advantage to the people under investigation,” he said. “My political intention is to publish the report as I had promised, but the question is when.”