The request for the extradition of Pilatus Bank whistleblower Maria Efimova has been denied by the Greek Court of Appeal in a decision delivered on Thursday.
Efimova was freed from an Athens jail in April after a court ruled she should not be extradited to Malta because there was no guarantee she would be granted a fair trial and granted protection.
The Greek head of appeals prosecutor Antonis Liogas had appealed the decision, which was confirmed by a court of appeal today.
The Greek courts have therefore rejected the Maltese authorities’ requests for her extradition on the grounds of her safety and concerns about justice in Malta.
The Russian whistleblower at the centre of a corruption scandal involving Malta’s prime minister Joseph Muscat. She was one of the sources of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s revelations that Panama Company Egrant belonged to Muscat wife, Michelle Muscat. The allegations have been the focus of a magisterial inquiry for more than a year.
Efimova absconded from Malta after saying that she feared for her life and that of her family, including her elderly father in Moscow who she had said was being intimidated by “dodgy people.”
PN Head of Delegation David Casa travelled to Athens three times to work with Efimova’s legal team. He provided evidence during the hearing before the Court of First Instance as well as the Court of Appeal.
“Maria Efimova was Caruana Galizia’s source – the journalist was assassinated and the mastermind remains at large. Those that used Pilatus Bank for criminal activity remain in power in Malta. It is clear that Maria’s life would be at risk if she were extradited”.
He said all those who expose wrongdoing at great personal risk deserved protection, while pointing a finger at Pilatus Bank.
“All roads lead to Pilatus Bank. It was complicit in corruption and money laundering for politically exposed persons at the highest levels of the Maltese government. Efimova was a witness to this illicit activity and the information she provided has proved to be accurate time and time again,” Casa said.