Disgraced former attorney general Peter Grech – notorious for, among other things, the “go-slow” directions he gave the police about investigating senior government officials caught with irregular Panama accounts – was given a €7,000-a-month government paycheque days after resigning from his post.
According to a never-disclosed three-month contract being revealed now by The Shift, Grech returned to the government payroll as then-justice minister Edward Zammit Lewis’s consultant for an unspecified “transition period”, less than two weeks after throwing in the towel as Malta’s attorney general.
In exchange for his resignation and advice he was to give his new employer, Grech was paid €6,914 a month, or over €20,000 for just three months, from public coffers.
To make his job easier still, the unusual contract also stipulated that Grech was to work remotely from his home in Sliema, saving him the inconvenience of travelling to the ministry in Valletta every day.
The contract, kept under wraps by the government, was signed by Justice Ministry Permanent Secretary Johan Galea, who was to guide Grech’s post-AG work for the ministry.
The Shift is informed that negotiations on the contract were held when Grech was still heading the Office of the Attorney General, although implemented in 22 September 2020. Grech’s last day of work as attorney general was on 9 September 2020, only 13 days earlier.
When becoming a consultant to Edward Zammit Lewis’s ministry, Peter Grech’s son was already married to the minister’s niece, a conflict of interest that neither Grech nor the minister of the time had declared.
The Shift revealed last June that the former attorney general had been given a one-year contract as an advisor to Zammit Lewis in 2021.
However, the initial three-month ‘transition’ contract of €7,000 a month had never before been revealed.
According to his second contract, Grech was to be paid €35 an hour up to a maximum of €62,000 a year. It is unknown whether this contract, which elapsed at the end of last year, has been renewed by the new Justice Minister Jonathan Attard.
Permanent Secretary Johan Galea did not reply to questions on whether Peter Grech is still on the government’s books as a consultant.
Grech was appointed attorney general in 2010 by the Nationalist Party administration.
In 2019, he came under intense public pressure to resign over his failure to take action against politicians, including disgraced minister Konrad Mizzi and former prime minister Joseph Muscat’s right-hand man Keith Schembri over damning Panama Papers revelations that they opened secret offshore companies with Trusts in New Zealand, just a few days after Labour was swept to power in 2013.
Instead of ordering immediate investigations and prosecutions, Grech instructed the police to ‘go slow’, effectively delaying the confiscation of crucial evidence that could have led to court prosecutions.