Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi was riding “piggy-back” on the conclusions of the Egrant inquiry in an effort to clear his name when the FIAU report had evidence of his involvement in criminal activity linked to money laundering, Nationalist MEP David Casa told The Shift News in reply to questions.
“The nature of the arrangements that appear to have been made, make it likely that that criminal activity is ongoing. Under normal circumstances the police would have acted on the (FIAU) report – expediently – particularly because the chances are that crimes could be in progress.
Instead, magisterial inquiries had to be resorted to that are being fiercely resisted and stalled at every opportunity,” Casa, who is also head of the Nationalist MEP delegation, said.
On Monday, Casa published full version of a draft Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit report showing how €1.3 million was wired to Dubai-based company 17 Black – the same company that had been listed by chief of staff Keith Schembri and Mizzi as one of two so-called “target clients”, which were set to pay in millions to their once-secret Panama companies.
The Shift News broke the story about the report back in November that called for investigations to start against Mizzi.
He released the report one day after the government released the main conclusions of the Egrant magisterial inquiry that found no conclusive links that Egrant did not belong to Muscat, his wife or family.
Saying it was his duty to publish to report so the public would know what Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was trying to keep secret for the past year, Casa said Mizzi attempted to use the 3% of a published inquiry – referring to the conclusions of the Egrant magisterial inquiry – that had little to do with him to absolve himself of wrongdoing.
They are using the published pages as a pretext to attack anyone vocal on corruption
Soon after Casa released the report, he posted on Facebook: “The FIAU wants to have me arrested because I published their report. Disgraceful. This is what the authorities in Malta have been reduced to – government mouthpieces. Protecting corrupt politicians instead of the people. Enough is enough. The public deserves the truth. I will not be silenced”.
The FIAU insisted the report had not been finalised and, in February, Casa testified before Magistrate Doreen Clarke.
After releasing the report, he then challenged MEPs Marlene Mizzi and Miriam Dalli to make their position clear and “state unequivocally” that they did not believe the contents of the FIAU reports. Dalli then issued a statement saying that Casa lost any credibility he had now that the Egrant inquiry conclusions were published.
“In the meantime Mizzi is unashamedly making every effort to piggy-back on a part-published inquiry that had nothing to do with him in an effort to clear his name. The situation has become unbearable,” Casa said.
He pointed out that there was a “concerted effort to absolve all manner of wrongdoing” following the publication of the inquiry conclusions. Those participating in this deception were trying to give the impression that the magistrate’s remit was wider than the terms of reference designed by the Prime Minister.
“They are using the published pages as a pretext to attack anyone vocal on corruption. This is obscene. The statements being made are intentionally vague and hugely deceptive. They clearly intended to confuse voters and to intimidate political opponents into submission,” Casa said.