Minister Konrad Mizzi has filed a Constitutional Case against the Attorney General over claims that an inquiry into his involvement in the Panama Papers would breach his human rights.
Last January, a similar request for an inquiry was blocked following an appeal by Mizzi, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his Chief of Staff Keith Schembri. The request had been dismissed by the courts after Judge Giovanni Grixti ruled that it was based on conjectures and that Busuttil had failed to provide substantial evidence linking a list of men to the crime of money laundering.
However, former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil would once again demand a magisterial inquiry into what was labelled ‘the ‘institutional paralysis’ over the Panama Papers scandal.
In the 77-page application, Busuttil argued that the failure of institutions to act against Mizzi and Schembri went against the EU’s anti-money laundering directive, treaties, and Maltese law.
Mizzi and Schembri have been embroiled in the Panama Papers scandal since news broke that they held two offshore accounts in the country.
The issue has been further compounded by the alleged links between the shell companies and the infamous 17 Black, owned by Yorgen Fenech, the CEO of Tumas Group, a partner in the Electrogas consortium running the LNG power station.
Beyond arguing that the fresh request meant that the system was being abused, Mizzi said that his right to a fair hearing was also being breached.
Repubblika, who submitted the request for inquiry with Busuttil, was quoted by the Times Of Malta as outraged by the minister’s use of state institutions to hide from the law.
“Human rights laws exist to protect citizens from their government. Konrad Mizzi thinks they exist to protect the government from citizens”, the group said adding that the inquiry would allow Mizzi to clear his name.
“Clearly justice in this country cannot reach the untouchable Konrad Mizzi and the criminal gang he fronts for,” they continued. “That doesn’t mean Repubblika is going to give up trying to change that. Konrad Mizzi might think that’s harassment. He ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”
The issues surrounding the investigation of government officials, or lack thereof, especially when it came to allegations of corruption were recently flagged by the Group of States against Corruption (Greco) report on Malta.