The Opposition has asked the Commissioner for Standards in Public Life to investigate Prime Minister Robert Abela and Justice Minister Jonathan Attard over comments they made concerning the public inquiry into the construction site death of Jean Paul Sofia.
The Opposition wants Standards Commissioner Joe Azzopardi to investigate how they knew on Monday that Inquiring Magistrate Marse-Ann Farrugia’s request to extend the timeframe of her investigation because the information should have been only for the eyes of the Attorney General.
In a letter to Azzopardi delivered this morning, Opposition Shadow Justice Minister Karol Aquilina cried foul over the fact that Abela and Attard had information related to the ongoing magisterial that could only have come their way from Attorney General Victoria Buttigieg herself.
The Prime Minister and Justice Minister, Aquilina insisted, had no right to the information in question.
Abela had consistently shot down the requests for a public inquiry into the December 2022 death, stating that “a public inquiry hinders and does not help achieve justice” and insisting that the ongoing magisterial inquiry would suffice.
Abela used the extension he said the magistrate requested as the reason behind his sudden change of heart.
This morning’s formal request follows the Opposition’s statement on Tuesday to the effect that it was unacceptable that information given to the AG about a magisterial inquiry winds up in the hands of the Prime Minister Justice Minister “to be used for political purposes.”
“This is a clear abuse of power and a betrayal of the obligations that the Attorney General has towards the Maltese and Gozitan people,” Aquilina said on Tuesday.
The information that made its way to Abela and Attard, Aquilina said, is being used to deceive the people.
Sofia was killed at what was to be a timber factory that was being built illegally on government property by Serbian contractors and Maltese developers with a criminal past and connections to the Lands Authority when it suddenly collapsed on 3 December.
In a dramatic turn of events on Monday, Abela buckled to months of mounting public pressure and announced a public inquiry into Sofia’s death.
The move came after he had his MPs vote against an opposition motion for the public inquiry to be instituted, and just before a public protest that was planned on Monday evening.