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Panama Papers committee invites former FIAU chief Manfred Galdes

Under Manfred Galdes' stewardship, the FIAU had started an investigation into the Panama Papers scandal

Tim Diacono
15 February 2017, 7:23pm
The European Parliament’s Panama Papers committee has formally invited the former chief of the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit to meet its MEPs in Malta next Monday.

Under the stewardship of Manfred Galdes, the FIAU had investigated the Panama Papers scandal – which revealed that minister Konrad Mizzi and the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schemrbi own offshore companies. His resignation – soon followed by the resignation of police commissioner Michael Cassar – fuelled rumours that Galdes had stepped down because the police refused to investigate the report.

The PANA committee sent its invitation to Galdes following a request by Nationalist MEP David Casa.

“I’m satisfied that my proposal was accepted as it would have been unacceptable not including him in our programme,” Casa said. “I really hope that Manfred Galdes accepts the invitation contrary to what Minister Konrad Mizzi and Chief of Staff Keith Schembri have done until now.”

He also challenged Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to “live up to his European credentials” to ensure that the duo accept the PANA committee’s invitation to appear in front of its inquiry committee.

The PANA committee arrives on Monday to continue its investigations on matters related to the Panama Papers, revealed last year by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, as well as on laws designed to fight tax avoidance and money laundering.

Auditors Brian Tonna and Karl Cini, of Nexia BT, who set up Mizzi and Schembri’s offshore accounts through Mossack Fonseca, have confirmed that they will not appear before the committee.

Nationalist deputy leader for party affairs Beppe Fenech Adami has confirmed his presence.