MPA calls on Ombudsman to investigate Johann Grech

Johann Grech

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Malta Producers Association (MPA) has submitted a formal complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman against the Malta Film Commissioner Johann Grech.

The MPA said in a statement that since the allegations against Johann Grech emerged, four weeks ago little has happened.

By submitting an official complaint to the Ombudsman, the MPA said it hopes that the Ombudsman will meet its request.

In February, the Malta Producers Association has demanded the resignation of the Film Commissioner after allegations emerged that the Malta Film Commission has been selectively promoting 7 production service providers to foreign producers whilst omitting 15 other companies.

Since then Johann Grech remained in office and no investigation was started. The association said that it understands that our country is experiencing a time of crisis but this should not mean an exemption for corrupt practices.

“This can only be described as favouring the message that impunity reigns supreme,” said MPA

Film Commissioner Johann Grech has denied the allegations and statements made against him. In a press statement, the Malta Film Commission had said it does not interfere when it comes to the choice of a foreign production choosing a local service provider.

Johann Grech also denied he has, by some form or another, used his position as a platform for profit and pocketing of money or gifts of any kind, from any individual.

On 9th March, the Executive Committee of the MPA met with the Minister for Tourism, Julia Farrugia Portelli, who agreed that things had been done wrongly and understood that, given his position, Johann Grech would indeed need to be suspended pending an investigation.

MPA said that the ministry has appointed RSM Malta to carry out an operational review of the Film Commission. However, the association noted that in view of the seriousness of the wrongdoings a review is most certainly a secondary matter.

“There is enough evidence in the public domain to warrant his dismissal and to start an investigation.”

The MPA said it would present proof of the allegations to a proper independent investigation once the Film Commissioner was removed.