Publication of full Egrant report to be decided on in December

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The decision whether the Opposition Leader Adrian Delia and the public should be handed the full Egrant inquiry report was postponed for December 16th, the Court announced.

In May, the Civil Court had turned down a request by the Opposition Leader who had asked for a full copy of the 1,500-page report. He then filed appeal proceedings.

Updated: PN leader to appeal Egrant court decision; fulfill duty as ‘public watchdog’

Attorney General (AG) Peter Grech argued that a full copy of the report had been handed to the Prime Minister but not to the Labour Party.

The main conclusions were published online, but “because of the delicate constitutional nature of the inquiry” it had been decided to give a copy to the prime minister, who had called the inquiry, the AG said. 

Breaking: Attorney General publishes main conclusions of Egrant Inquiry

However, Adrian Delia’s lawyer, Vincent Galea, argued that that the Prime Minister’s spokesman, lawyer Pawlu Lia, and Justice Minister Owen Bonnici had all received a copy. Later, it was revealed that Ministers Edward Scicluna, Konrad Mizzi and Chris Cardona also had access to the full report

Egrant: “Cardona, Mizzi and Scicluna have access”

Egrant Inquiry: Scicluna, Cardona and Mizzi deny that they have access to the complete report

Whilst the AG argued that the publication issue was one of public interest, he refused to hand a copy to the public and the Opposition Leader, argued Dr Galea.

Delia’s lawyer also pointed out that the Opposition could not fulfil its role as watchdog without access to this document.

Egrant inquiry: Delia to take AG to Court

The Court presided over by Chief Justice Joseph Azzopardi and Mr Justices Giannino Caruana Demajo and Anthony Ellul, adjourned the case for the final judgment to December 16.

Lawyer Victoria Buttigieg also assisted the AG.

Background

An anonymous shell company called Egrant, set up in 2013 by government consultants Nexia BT, first came to the country’s attention in the 2016 Panama Papers leaks.

The murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia had linked this to the Prime Minister’s wife, Michelle Muscat.

Egrant Inquiry: Magistrate warned me he could not protect me – Matthew Caruana Galizia

Caruana Galizia based her allegations on information fed to her by former Pilatus Bank employee Maria Efimova.

The journalist claimed to have access to a declaration of trust taken from Pilatus Bank, in which Michelle Muscat was named as Egrant’s owner.

Caruana Galizia also said she knew of a $1 million payment to Egrant originating from Azerbaijan’s ruling family.

The Court had found that the inquiry did not find any links between the Panamian company, Egrant Inc., and the Prime Minister and his wife.