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Anti-corruption NGOs call on AG to publish the Egrant inquiry

Egrant
The full Egrant inquiry shown on Twitter by Prime Minister's Head of Communications Kurt Farrugia.

Maltese and French anti-corruption organisations Il-Kenniesa and Sherpa called on the Attorney General to publish the full Egrant inquiry report.

The Prime Minister’s wife, Michelle Muscat, his chief of staff Keith Schembri and Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi were all suspected of holding offshore accounts connected to the Panama Papers scandal. Many of these allegations were made by journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia who was murdered in a car bomb in October 2017, the organisations said in a statement on Thursday.

The findings of the magistrate’s inquiry was revealed by the Prime Minister on Sunday, “clearing his name and that of his family”. According to the 49-page conclusion report of the inquiry, the owner of Egrant was unable to be identified, the groups said.

The Prime Minister requested that the report be disclosed to him in its entirety, a request that was granted by the Attorney General. Sherpa and Il-Kenniesa said they were officially requesting the Attorney General to disclose the report in its entirety and to make it public.

The Attorney General on Wednesday declined a request by Opposition Leader Adrian Delia for a copy of the full report. Delia had written to the Attorney General stressing that the fact that the Prime Minister – a subject of the inquiry – had a full copy while the Opposition did not, was creating a political advantage for the government. Delia took legal action following this refusal.

“Citizens must be able to access this report and cannot rely solely on information that may be disclosed by the Prime Minister’s Office… Especially when the Prime Minister himself is involved in the case,” the activists said.

Publishing the report was in the country’s general interest as its content could help the fight against financial crimes while leading to further investigations, they said.

Sherpa is a Paris-based organisation that gathers legal experts from diverse backgrounds to protect and defend victims of economic crimes. It joined Maltese activists Il-Kenniesa who have sustained the call for justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia and an end to corruption in Malta.

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