State Prosecutor turned criminal lawyer Charles Mercieca has refuted allegations that he took an unsanctioned decision to allow a government official found guilty of money laundering and fraud to avoid prison time.
“My representations regarding punishment were made in open court and were based on valid considerations; amongst which was a social inquiry report prepared by a probation officer which advised against a prison sentence being given to an elderly man who had incidentally repaid the amount of money complained of and was given a combined penalty of €100,000,” Mercieca said in a statement
“His was solely my responsibility as is standard practice, and I was not in any way expected to refer or consult the Attorney General. The allegation that I went behind the Attorney General’s back is therefore completely unfounded.”
PN MP Jason Azzopardi brought up the issue during a parliamentary speech and Mercieca says he’ll be referring the matter to the competent authorities.
“It is deplorable that Dr Azzopardi has chosen to make personal attacks on me by using his parliamentary platform. A forum that should not be used to attack private individuals and to gratify what appears to be his private ego, agenda and interests.”
“Another example of this was when Dr Azzopardi tried to smear my name in court by interjecting in a case which he was not party to in order to possibly gain media coverage. He persists in acting in an unprofessional and immature manner in a bid to advance his own personal ends,” Mercieca said.
Mercieca did not deny being nominated as Malta’s European Public Prosecutor.
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.
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