Police have denied a report that they are awaiting the approval of Prime Minister Robert Abela before analysing tax commissioner Marvin Gaerty’s phone.
“With reference to yesterday’s report by the Sunday Times in relation to an investigation by the Department of Financial Crimes, the police would like to clarify that the report includes incorrect assertions,” a police statement reads.
“It’s not true that the police require some type of authorisation by the Prime Minister to obtain or analyse mobile phones or any other type of technological apparatus. The police investigations referred to in this report are proceeding without interference, and inquiring magistrates are also involved.”
“Requests in relation to tax laws have nothing to do with what was indicated in parts of the report.”
Yesterday, Sunday Times of Malta reported that police are awaiting Abela’s go-ahead after Gaerty flagged secrecy provisions in the Income Tax Act.
Gaerty was recently arrested and interrogated about certain chats with murder suspect Yorgen Fenech, but he was released and has insisted all his communication with Fenech was above board.
Sunday Times said Gaerty’s phone contains a “pandora’s box” of sensitive information, including a conversation with Abela in which the Prime Minister referred to Opposition leader Bernard Grech’s tax affairs.
Following this, former Alternattiva Demokratika leader Arnold Cassola asked Standards Commissioner George Hyzler to investigate Abela, saying the Prime Minister should resign if the report is true.