Activists pressure minister on dismissals of key officials in Panama Papers investigations

Civil Society Network (CSN) has called on Finance Minister Edward Scicluna to divulge all information about sacked FIAU officials soon after the general election last June.

In a statement, the network insisted that “it is vital for Malta to establish the truth with regard to the resignations of Police Commissioner Michael Cassar and FIAU Director Manfred Galdes and with regard to the termination of employment of FIAU officials Jonathan Ferris and Charles Cronin. A lack of will to do this would mean that institutional omerta’ exists in Malta.”

CSN said it is preoccupied with Scicluna’s attitude after the Minister dodged questions put to him by Opposition MPs in Parliament and activists. The Shift also put questions to the Finance Minister on the issue, but his reply was that he had “nothing further to add”.

“The Network reminds Minister Scicluna that the position he holds has the sole and exclusive purpose of being of service to the [people] and therefore it is imperative that the Minister gives a proper account of his activities and of the practices followed by the entities which fall under his responsibility,” CSN said in a statement.

On Thursday, The Shift reported that Scicluna refused to clarify whether he had any involvement, even if indirect, in the decision taken soon after the general election to dismiss Jonathan Ferris and Charles Cronin, former officials at the anti-money laundering agency FIAU.

Ferris and Cronin were dismissed from the anti-money laundering agency on 16 June – just after the general election – following the unit’s investigations on the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Keith Schembri and ‘star’ minister Minister Konrad Mizzi.

CSN reiterated demands for Scicluna to inform the public whether he was involved in any communication with any member of the Board of Governors or with any official or employee of the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit with regards to Ferris and Cronin.

Scicluna has also been challenged to say whether he requested any information in relation to former FIAU officials and whether this took place before or after the termination of their jobs.

                           
                               
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