The demand for the full publication of the Egrant inquiry was made in the Council of Europe’s assessment report on Malta adopted last June, Pieter Omtzigt pointed out following a court ruling today granting the Opposition Leader full access to the evidence collected in the inquiry.
Omtzigt, the Special Rapporteur for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), reacted to news in Malta today following a protracted legal battle for access to the evidence on the third Panama company exposed by assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
“In June 2019, PACE (with MPs from 47 European states) overwhelmingly asked Joseph Muscat to publish the Egrant report without further delay,” Omtzigt said.
In a separate post, he drew attention to Muscat’s promise to publish the inquiry in full two years ago. “In March 2019, Joseph Muscat promised to keep his word,” he said. “He had promised to publish it in full (in 2017).”
In June 2019 the Parliamentary Assembly if the Council of Europe (with MPs from 47 European states) overwhelmingly asked @JosephMuscat_JM to publish the Egtant report without further delay pic.twitter.com/BCaz8icE0V
— Pieter Omtzigt (@PieterOmtzigt) December 16, 2019
The question on whether the Egrant inquiry should be published has taken centre stage again today after a Court ruled that Opposition Leader Adrian Delia should be handed the full report by the Attorney General.
Delia called for the immediate resignation of the Attorney General, stating a ‘breach of the Constitution’ after the Attorney General Peter Grech resisted handing over a copy, choosing to delay by two days. Yet, a few hours later, Grech changed his mind for reasons as yet unknown and the report was delivered to 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 said that although he was in favour of the report being published in its entirety, despite a two-year delay, some parts may have to be redacted in order not to reveal information of private persons or prejudice ongoing investigations.
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.
The Egrant report is an inquiry into claims made by 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.