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Updated | Attorney General condemns Gaffarena's request for inquiry into his office
The Gaffarenas' request for an investigation into the Attorney General was “entirely frivolous and intended only to annoy and needlessly draw out proceedings,” according to Attorney General Peter Grech
26 February 2016, 5:51pm
Attorney General Peter Grech's reply, filed in the registry of courts yesterday, pulled no punches. It described the Gaffarenas' request for an investigation into conflicts of interests involving the office of the Attorney General as “entirely frivolous and intended only to annoy and needlessly draw out proceedings”. “In truth, the application...is condemnable and censurable because, aside from containing hurtful allegations staining the honour and integrity of honest employees, this application is nothing but a maneuvre aimed at unjustly preventing these officials from carrying out their duties.
There was no indication as to how the officials mentioned in the application had supposedly breached rules regulating conflicts of interest and neither had it identified the article of the law allegedly breached.
It was “obvious” that none of the officials mentioned were affected by any personal conflict of interest, reads the application, saying that these officials were merely doing their job to the best of their abilities and in the best interest of the country.
Speaking to MaltaToday earlier this afternoon, the Gaffarenas' lawyer Keith Bonnici argued that his client was being set up as a "fall guy" for Joseph Muscat. He had never asked for an expropriation but for an exchange, said Bonnici. The choice to go for the expropriation option was taken by the Lands Department.
Responding to the conflict of interest allegations, he argued that the office of the AG "has to act with professional integrity", pointing to the Attorney General's forwarding of his reply to various newsrooms as running contrary to advice issued by the Commission for the Administration of Justice. That Commission had, in June 2014, issued a recommendation that lawyers refrain from expressing opinions or arguments about cases which are in the process of being heard in court.
The Attorney General, who is the government's lawyer, was fighting an expropriation authorised by the government itself, said Bonnici. "What clearer conflict of interest could you have?"
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