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Three retired judges to conduct inquiry into CapitalOne police investigation

Three retired judges - Joseph Camilleri, Lawrence Quintano and Philip Sciberras, have been entrusted with an inquiry into the police’s handling of the CapitalOne investigation

tim_diacono
Tim Diacono
10 October 2016, 5:39pm
Justice Minister Owen Bonnici at this afternoon's press briefing
Justice Minister Owen Bonnici at this afternoon's press briefing
Justice minister Owen Bonnici this afternoon addressed a press briefing where he said that retired judges Joseph Camilleri, Lawrence Quintano and Philip Sciberras will be conducting an inquiry into the police’s handling of the CapitalOne investigation.

The minister said that the panel of retired judges will have until the 15 January to conclude their inquiry and that they will be asked to investigate four allegations that emerged from MaltaToday's story.

They will be asked to investigate the allegation that the Maltese authorities kept information hidden from their Dutch counterparts and that they failed to cooperate with Dutch authorities, as is required by law. The panel is also being asked to investigate suspicious transactions being carried out by companies based in Malta, as well as the public institutions that allegedly opted not to investigate further once a politicians name cropped up in the investigation.

Bonnici would not comment on whether he felt that magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech - who at the time was deputy attorney general, and in communication with Dutch Authorities – should resign from her post pending the results of the investigation.

“I have personally informed the chief justice of the Prime Minister’s intention to appoint an inquiry, my position does not allow me to pass judgment on sitting magistrates. I will await results of inquiry,” said Bonnici

He also refused to comment when asked why the government had not appointed a criminal inquiry into Panama Papers as it has into this story, arguing that he will not engage in political talk during a press conference.

“This case is not about politics but about law and order, there are serious allegations that public authorities froze when they saw that the investigations could implicate a politician,” he said.