Protest demands action against corruption

Repubblika president reveals conclusions of Pilatus Bank inquiry concluded more than a year ago and which called for fresh investigations into Egrant


The magisterial inquiry on Pilatus Bank finalised more than a year ago listed names the police must prosecute, Repubblika president Robert Aquilina said during a protest against corruption held on Tuesday in Valletta.

Aquilina read out excerpts from the inquiry’s conclusions that have so far been hidden from the public. “We know exactly what the inquiry concluded,” he told the crowd that gathered on Republic Street in the capital.

Protestors carried banners and placards with the faces and names of those at the centre of corruption scandals.

Police lined up behind the main speakers, stopping protesters from reaching the memorial for Daphne Caruana Galizia in front of the law courts due to a government event.

Aquilina added: “Only yesterday, we asked the court to include the secret [LNG security of supply] agreement  revealed by The Shift to be included in four ongoing magisterial inquiries.”

The names of the individuals involved in the Pilatus Bank inquiry include two Maltese individuals. But while the police have proceeded against the bank’s money laundering officer Claude-Ann Sant Fournier, they have ignored Antoniella Jane Gauci.

Gauci was seen accompanying Ali Sadr leaving Pilatus Bank in 2017 with loaded bags on the night that assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia reported that Panama company Egrant belonged to Michelle Muscat, the wife of disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat.

Antoniella Gauci with Ali Sadr leaving Pilatus Bank offices in the night with bulging bags after Daphne Caruana Galizia reported Egrant belonged to Michelle Muscat

The authorities have also shown an unwillingness to proceed against others on the list, including Pilatus Bank and its owner Ali Sadr Hasheminejad, Luis Felipe Rivera, Mehmet Tasli and Hamidreza Ghanbari.

“This Tasli was questioned in court by two lawyers from the Attorney General’s office. Instead of the police arresting him, as the magistrate had ordered in the Pilatus Bank inquiry, they let him leave court and Malta as though nothing had happened,” Aquilina said.

The police commissioner has never explained the action taken, or lack thereof, following the inquiry’s conclusions that cost €7.5 million.

Aquilina referred to the magistrate’s order for criminal prosecution against the individuals listed, adding, “This is the evidence that I bring this evening”.

The inquiry’s conclusions included a recommendation by foreign forensic experts to seek “information from US authorities or through a discovery application to US correspondent banks of whether the alleged $1.017 million Egrant transaction took place and, if so, which banks were involved”.

In other words, the magistrate ordered fresh investigations into claims revealed by assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia of the transaction to the third company linked to Malta’s political class in the Panama Papers.

Caruana Galizia had reported that the company belonged to the wife of disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat – a claim dismissed in an inquiry with limited scope launched when Muscat was prime minister.

The lawyer who set the criteria was Pawlu Lia.

Repubblika has called Lia to testify in a case filed last week after his daughter-in-law, made magistrate during Joseph Muscat’s administration, refused to recuse herself.

She expressed doubts about the veracity of Repubblika’s claims while her father-in-law sought out Aquilina in Valletta to make it clear he was displeased with the organisation’s actions.

Activist and blogger Manuel Delia also addressed the crowd, pointing out that the common element between the Electrogas power station deal and the Montenegro wind farm deal was Azerbaijan.

“All the investment was made from our taxes. We carried the risk while they secured the return,” Delia said.


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D M Briffa
D M Briffa
18 days ago

The turn out tonight was hugely disappointing. My guess (yes, I was there) is that there were, perhaps, 750 people. I personally find that disgusting. The apathy in Malta is appalling. Talk about boiled frogs. Can’t anyone be bothered to get off their arses and attend a rally that does its best to kick a corrupt government in the teeth?

18 days ago
Reply to  D M Briffa

Sur Briffa. Mhux u l-kwantita li jghodd imma il-kwalita. In-nies ta rieda tajba kollox. Vera li jkun hemm bzonn is-sahha tal-poplu. Tistenniex min nies bierda li fl’ahhar elezjoni inxtraw ghal flus. Tistenniex lill gahan li jpoggi quddiem l’istazzjon disgrazzjat f’pajjizna iccassati lejh bla ma jifhmu xejn milli jkun jirremetti.

18 days ago

The situation is desperate when you will your see the police with their hand crossed over each other infront the crowd. It is totally reduculous. It’s seem that they are bullies. What a hell of police justice we have. I have never seen this attitude All over the world, police acting like this.

D M Briffa
D M Briffa
18 days ago
Reply to  Joseph

I didn’t see what happened at the front of the demo as I was at the back but your comment surprises me. I actually thought it odd that I didn’t see any police. At the monthly vigils there are normally six to eight cops, presumably there to protect the crowd of demonstrators. I’ve been on loads of demos and vigils over the past five years and I’ve always been impressed by the way the police have behaved. Thankfully it’s not like the 1980s.

18 days ago

I hope that the efforts and above all the life of the journalist has served some purpose, these magistrates first made the perpetrators escape and now they would like to arrest them.
for the rest you notice how the citizens are happy with this state, but I would like to know when the problems will touch their families and their children … you will see a state that does not protect them and with people who have enriched themselves behind them.

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