Opposition Leader calls for AG’s resignation following Egrant ruling

Opposition Leader Adrian Delia this morning won the right to a copy of the Egrant Inquiry after the Constitutional Court ordered Attorney General Peter Grech to hand over a copy.

Delia promptly called for the immediate resignation of the Attorney General, stating a ‘breach of the Constitution’. After the Attorney General resisted handing over a copy, choosing to delay by two days, the report is now set to arrive at the Opposition Leader this afternoon.

Meanwhile, Muscat has asked the Law Commissioner, former Judge Antonio Mizzi, to advise on how a redacted version of the Egrant report could be published. He stated that although he is in favor of the report being published in its entirety, some parts may have to be redacted in order not to reveal information of private persons or prejudice ongoing investigations.

Mizzi, the husband of former Labour Party MEP Marlene Mizzi, was the same judge who fought the request for his recusal on the Panama Papers inquiry. After Mizzi refused to accept the challenge, PN MEP Simon Busuttil had filed a separate constitutional case claiming a violation of his right to a fair hearing and requesting that the appeals be assigned to a different member of the judiciary.

Last week, during to compilation of evidence evidence of witnesses in the case of businessman Yorgen Fenech,  Judge Antonio Mizzi was also mentioned by Police Inspector Keith Arnaud when referring to recorded conversations between Melvin Theuma and Yorgen Fenech. In one of the conversations, Arnaud stated that Theuma asked Fenech to speak to Judge Mizzi or the Prime Minister for the Degiorgio brothers to be released from their arrest.

Delia today said he would be going to the Attorney General’s office immediately to obtain his copy of the findings of the Egrant inquiry. Yet, shortly after the decision by the Court, the Attorney General invoked a legal right, allowing him to delay handing over the report for up to two days, referring to the Code of Organisation and Civil Procedure’s Article 256, which states that judgments are enforceable two days after delivery. 

“After two years refusing to publish the Egrant report, the Attorney General is now saying that he needs two more days to give us this report that he’s been hiding for two years,” Delia stated in a tweet following the incident. “He, therefore, remains in breach of the Constitution.”

The judgment states that although the court is in favour of Delia obtaining a copy of the report, they “do agree with the Attorney General that the report should not be published.”  Contrary to media reports, legal sources close to the case have informed The Shift that this does not necessarily mean that the publication of the report is prohibited.

In a tweet earlier today, Delia called the Court’s ruling a ‘victory for the people’ and ‘a defeat for the criminal gang’. The court was also composed of Justices Giannino Caruana Demajo and Anthony Ellul.

Delia had filed court proceedings in May to be given a copy of the report. At first, that request was not upheld. The case was appealed and the Constitutional Court has now overturned that judgment.

In a tweet, MEP David Casa reacted by saying Muscat “fought tooth and nail to keep this inquiry under wraps. Now let’s see why.”

Only 49 pages of the Egrant Report, compiled by Magistrate Aaron Bugeja, were originally published by the Attorney General Peter Grech, arguing that the full inquiry included information about private persons and other details which could jeopardise other criminal investigations.

READ: 6 things to keep in mind about the Egrant inquiry

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat had argued that he was the victim of a frameup, and publicly promised to publish the full report. Yet, it remains unpublished,18 months down the line.

The Egrant report is an inquiry into claims made by assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in May 2017, alleging that the Prime Minister’s wife Michelle Muscat is the owner of the Panamanian company Egrant – the third company revealed in the Panama Papers, after another two belonging to Minister Konrad Mizzi and the Prime Minister’s (former) chief of staff Keith Schembri.

Muscat had labelled it “the biggest lie in Malta’s political history” and called for a magisterial inquiry on terms that he set

                           
                               
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