Mark Stoleson, the chief executive of Legatum, has sued The Shift News journalist Jurgen Balzan for libel over a report which revealed that he has an account at Pilatus Bank.
Legatum is a think tank that emerged as one of the most vocal advocates for Britain’s exit from the EU. Yet, Stoleson and Legatum’s founder Christopher Chandler both acquired Maltese and EU citizenship and the mobility it offers.
Russian whistleblower Maria Efimova had told The Shift News that she had met Stoleson and Chandler while working for Pilatus Bank. Chandler also acquired Maltese citizenship through the cash for passport scheme.
They confirmed they hold accounts at Pilatus Bank, whose owner was arrested on Tuesday in the US on money laundering charges. Both men denied they had met Efimova and wanted the report removed.The Shift News refused.
The Shift News had sent questions to Legatum Institute on 9 February but no reply was received. The letter sent following the publication of the report was published as their comment in the report, as well as their original letter in full.
Lawyer Aron Mifsud Bonnici represents the absent Stoleson as his Special Mandatory. Mifsud Bonnici is Minister Konrad Mizzi’s lawyer and company secretary of various government agencies, including Projects Malta (which falls under Mizzi), ARMS and Enemalta and legal counsel to, among others, the General Workers’ Union and Transport Malta.