Mizzi chooses former magistrate and alleged freemason as his lawyer

    Miguela Xuereb

    Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

    Former magistrate and alleged freemason Carol Peralta is representing disgraced former Minister Konrad Mizzi.

    Mizzi was hauled to the Police’s Economic Crimes Unit in Santa Venera on Tuesday where he is being interrogated. He spent the night in police custody.

    Disgraced former OPM Chief of Staff Keith Schembri was arrested and hauled in on Wednesday morning. Sources have told Newsbook.com.mt that Schembri was named by Konrad Mizzi. The pair are under investigation. Times of Malta reported that the interrogation follows messages exchanged between Mizzi and murder suspect Yorgen Fench, which were lifted from Fenech’s phone.

    The choice of legal representation by the former minister and PL MP now independent has been the subject of discussion. Mizzi was previously represented by Aron Mifsud Bonnici but is now being represented by former magistrate Peralta and lawyer Jean Paul Sammut the legal advisor to Charles Polidano known as iċ-Ċaqnu.

    Peralta had retired from the bench in August 2015. Before that, he had faced two motions of impeachment. The first was put forward by then-MP and sitting judge Lawrence Mintoff in 1990 following a story that was broken by Alternattiva, a newspaper which was at the time run by then newly set up Alternattiva Demokratika.

    Mintoff had asked for the removal from office of Peralta as well as another magistrate on the grounds of misbehaviour. The case was about granting ownership rights to a dubious land title owner of the Sant’ Antnin Battery in Qala. The property was then sold to a fellow magistrate.

    Another impeachment motion was presented in December 1994 by then prime minister Eddie Fenech Adami. The motion was refused by the newly established Commission for the Administration of Justice.

    Peralta left 283 pending magisterial inquiries in 2003 when he joined the war crimes tribunals as part of the UN mission in Kosovo. He returned to the Maltese courts in 2012.

    MaltaToday had reported that the his name had appeared again in a list of Maltese freemasons summoned to a meeting in France. He was listed as the Grand Registrar or the Grand Lodge’s principal legal officer.

    In 2013, Peralta held a Christmas party in his courtroom in 2013. In a press conference, held after the party, Peralta had refused to deny or confirm his continued involvement in freemasonry.

    Peralta had been confirmed as being a freemason of the lodge which would convene at Villa Blye in Paola in the 1990s.

    It is unclear whether Peralta was a freemason while holding office as the Code of Ethics for the judiciary expressly stated that a member of the judiciary cannot be a freemason.

    In 2019, Peralta had submitted a development application to build an aparthotel on land which lies outside the development zone.