AG appeals ruling on Judge’s recusal on Panama Papers case

Antonio Mizzi
Judge Antonio Mizzi

The Attorney General appealed a judgment that called for the recusal of Judge Antonio Mizzi from presiding over the appeals case involving the Panama Papers.

Nationalist MP Simon Busuttil announced the appeal in a tweet and said “it was incredible but true”.

“The lengths to which they are going to pervert justice is dangerous,” Busuttil added.

In the appeal, the AG argued that it disagreed that Labour MEP Marlene Mizzi’s declaration on the Panama Papers – made in her political capacity – extended to her husband or affected his impartiality. A person’s opinion was one’s own and could not be extended to the spouse or interpreted as shared by both.

No evidence had been presented to show that Judge Mizzi was not impartial, the appeal said.

Earlier this month, a constitutional court ruled in favour of Busuttil, saying his right to a fair hearing had been breached when Judge Mizzi refused to recuse himself from a complaint on Panama Papers, after his MEP wife had spoken about the issue in the European Parliament.

Busuttil’s complaint came after Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, his Chief of Staff Keith Schembri and Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi, their auditors Brian Tonna, Karl Cini, Malcolm Scerri, and the former Managing Director of Allied Newspapers Adrian Hillman had each filed separate appeals against a magisterial decision to green light an inquiry in their regard. These were assigned to Judge Mizzi.

Busuttil had challenged Judge Mizzi to recuse himself but he refused, and the former Opposition Leader then took the case to the constitutional court.

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