Prime Minister Robert Abela is urging the conclusion of several crucial magisterial inquiries, raising concerns over the massive delays in the legal process.
As it stands, several former top government officials are subject to criminal magisterial inquiries, including Finance Minister Edward Scicluna, Labour Party Deputy Leader Chris Cardona, former Minister Konrad Mizzi, and the former Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Keith Schembri.
These inquiries involve several major corruption claims involving the Panama Papers scandal, the Vitals deal, and alleged kickback schemes.
However, they are yet to be concluded despite some starting more than three years ago.
“I don’t see why they should still be ongoing. The AFM case and the Santa Venera case were concluded quickly. We need to ensure the rule of law is respected and a decision is finally made,” Abela said.
Abela stressed that he understood the judicial process can take some time, but such long waits could not be accepted if the country was determined to prove that it is willing to tackle good governance issues.
The Prime Minister was replying to questions over the recent nomination for Angelo Gafa as police commissioner. He backed the nomination, referencing Gafa’s long career in the force as an inspector.
“I was often on the losing side when I went up against him as a lawyer,” Abela said.
He also dismissed suggestions that Mizzi had only returned to the country because of Gafa’s appointment.
“I’m not saying it is the case, but if anyone returned to Malta because of Gafà’s nomination they made a mistake. It also shows that they don’t know Gafa because he is a person of good character,” Abela said.
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