Constitutional Court turns down Tabone’s bid to stop criminal proceedings over oil corruption

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Constitutional Court has refused a request by former Enemalta chairperson to have criminal proceedings against him removed despite finding that his human rights were breached by parliament.

Tancred Tabone was charged with corruption and bribery in February 2013 following a report by MaltaToday concerning oil purchases.

While criminal proceedings are still underway, the Public Accounts Committee started probing a report on oil buying by Enemalta drawn up by the National Audit Office.

Tabone had appeared before the committee where he refused to answer any questions. He had won a constitutional case in which he claimed his right to a fair trial was breached by the committee because it created prejudicial pre-trial publicity.

The meetings on the report have since been suspended indefinitely.

Mr Justice Joseph R. Micallef who presided over the First Hall of the Civil Court in its constitutional jurisdiction, however, turned down a request by Tabone who sought to have the criminal proceedings expunged as a result of the breach in human rights.

The court ruled that despite finding Tabone’s rights were breached during the PAC hearings, the criminal proceedings against him should not be removed.