The Nationalist Leader Adrian Delia, has told reporters outside the law courts in Valletta that he will appeal the court’s decision.
He explained that it was in the public’s interest to know what the report had said in detail and that the Opposition party was responsible for fighting for its release.
‘To fulfill my duty as a public watchdog, I will appeal the decision and ask the constitutional court of appeal to treat the matter with urgency.’
The PN leader explained that the court had recognized the importance of the Opposition to request the information and of its public importance, but stressed that in this occasion, the Inquiry document did not qualify
The Attorney General hard argued that it was actually journalists who have an investigative role and not the Opposition leader.
They stated that it demonstrated the potential for a Member of Parliament to obtain political advantage.
‘The inquiry should not be used to have an MP try to acquire a document to use at the opportune moment to obtain a political advantage. So the PM or the Minister of Justice are either not politicians or in parliament because they have this document,’ they argued adding that, ‘Is the Leader of the Opposition supposed to sit down and wait for a journalist to write a story to inform the public? Because he isn’t a journalist? How can we come here and say that the role of the Leader of the Opposition isn’t that of a watchdog? Because the EU court only mentioned in relation to journalists? But that is because it never met such a case – this is the first time!’
Watch: Court denies PN Leader full copy of Egrant inquiry
The Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia has been denied a full copy of the Egrant Inquiry, the constitutional court has ruled.
The presiding Judge Mr Justice Robert Mangion outlined this decision in a short session in court this morning, but did not provide details behind his judgment.
The PN leader had only been given access to a 50-page copy of the report which focused solely on the conclusions of the report. He had previously stated that this was a breach of his rights as the Opposition leader not to be given full access.
The argument over Delia’s access to the document has been brewing for the past 9 months when he first issued a constitutional application against the Attorney General.
The report examines the alleged connections between the secret offshore Panamian company EGRANT and the sitting Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. Magistrate Aaron Bugeja published the conclusions in July 2018 stating that the company had not been the personal property of Dr Muscat or his wife.
On Sunday last week, Prime Minister Muscat told a crowd at a political activity that it was a matter of when the report would be published rather than ‘if’ it would be published. This was on the proviso that its publication did not impact on other investigations.
Former PN leader weighs in
It’s time @JosephMuscat_JM stops playing his #Egrant victim card. It’s not like owning a Panama company is wrong for him. If it was, he’d have long fired his closest cabinet members and left with them. Just publish the report and let the people decide. https://t.co/j42LiiA446
— Simon Busuttil (@SimonBusuttil) May 14, 2019
PL MEP candidate Edward Zammit Lewis retorts:
Let me tell you what its time for @SimonBusuttil that u take complete responsibility for the biggest lie in #Malta's political history uncovered by a thorough magisterial enquiry, and it’s also time you respect the institutions including the #ruleoflaw @JosephMuscat_JM
— Edward Zammit-Lewis (@ZammitLewisEdw) May 14, 2019