‘The magistrate turned her guns on us’: Repubblika takes Pilatus case to Constitutional Court

Repubblika reveals magistrate was part of disgraced former PM Joseph Muscat's propaganda effort on Panama company Egrant

 

Repubblika filed an application in the Constitutional Court arguing that their right to a fair hearing before an impartial court is being breached by Magistrate Nadine Lia, who has thus far refused to recuse herself from a case and for refusing to have her father-in-law Pawlu Lia, testify in her courtroom.

In their application, Repubblika lists the circumstances and the actions by Magistrate Lia and argues that she cannot guarantee impartiality nor appear impartial in a case where the interests of her father-in-law’s clients are susceptible to legal action.

The NGO is currently challenging the police commissioner before the courts over the force’s refusal to abide by an inquiring magistrate’s order, given about a year and a half ago, to proceed against the now defunct Pilatus bank and its directors.

The case is before Magistrate Lia who, the organisation says, is actively hindering further investigation due to her actions in this case.

When the case was assigned to Magistrate Lia, Repubblika argued that Lia was unfit to hear the case because of her ties to her father-in-law lawyer Pawlu Lia, who also serves as a lawyer to disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat.

Repubblika argues that Pawlu Lia was also Konrad Mizzi’s lawyer for many years and defended him in numerous libel suits where the allegation was corruption or money laundering, including through secret companies abroad. Pawlu Lia was also Keith Schembri’s lawyer.

What’s more, they also note that Chen Cheng, the Chinese negotiator with Enemalta and Konrad Mizzi, was found to be the mastermind behind a secret company in Panama and had an account at Pilatus Bank.

Other reasons include past instances where Nadine Lia, who was still a lawyer, participated in political activities by the Labour Party. In May 2017, she gave a speech where she encouraged people to vote for the Labour Party and Joseph Muscat, who was and still is her father-in-law’s client. Nadine Lia was one of the individuals roped in to defend Muscat against the Egrant allegations at the time.

Pawlu Lia was also the lawyer tasked with setting up the terms of reference for the discredited magisterial inquiry into Egrant, which assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia had reported was owned by Michelle Muscat, the wife of disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat.

The conclusions of the inquiry on Pilatus that Repubblika has revealed show the magistrate in that inquiry ordered fresh investigations into the transfer of amounts to Pilatus Bank that the Egrant inquiry dismissed.

During the press conference held this morning, Robert Aquilina stressed once again Repubblika’s concern that the current system in which members of the judiciary are asked to recuse themselves over a conflict of interest get to decide for themselves whether to accept the request.

This, the organisation said, is “in itself unfair and an outrage to the fundamental right to a proper hearing”.

Repubblika’s application was filed by lawyer Jason Azzopardi.

                           
                               
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KLAUS
KLAUS
18 days ago

There is a monument near the Castille Palace in Valletta.
The name should be THE KNOT OF CORRUPTION.

repubblika will break this knot!


Joseph
Joseph
18 days ago
Reply to  KLAUS

In fact that’what it means, they’re united in corruption and criminality.

KLAUS
KLAUS
18 days ago
Reply to  Joseph

Yes! And more:

We must never again come to such dark times as these in which injustice tried to be declared as ‘right’, in which a pathetic Premier Minister cowardly runs (!) away from the press and only dares to show it in front of the lackey TV.
He is just too cowardly does not even dare to address corruption there.

People with enormous urge to self-service and cover-up, who unfortunately live among us and enrich themselves at the expense of the poorest.

This monument is to show that courage creates change.

From my point of view, it should bear the names of courageous people like Daphne Capuana Galizia with her sons, but also organisations like repubblika with their outstanding courageous people like Robert Aquilina.

Step by step by step.

Bamboccu
Bamboccu
18 days ago

Prosit tassew lil Repubblika.
Azzjoni bil BAJD.

Joseph
Joseph
18 days ago

Min hemm turi li din il-magistrata m’hiex sinciera akost ta’kollox ghax bniedem tal-affari tieghu juza ir-raguni u mhux it-tghajjir.

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